Posts Tagged ‘evangelical christianity’

Take a moment to indulge a slight over-generalization of where the church is in North America in its last gasps of Christendom. Christendom being the empire styled Christianity that supplanted the many branches of the vine when, in short form, Constantine conquered the Roman Empire under the banner of the Cross. it birthed such fallacies as Dominionism; Doctrine of Discovery (search refuting of dominionism and Doctrine of Discovery and you will see the heresies laid bare), enabled and enacted atrocities for generational cycles of genocide of Indigenous populations as first the Holy Roman and the Reformist churches (National churches, as Monarchs realized coming out of the Black Plague, that the church could be humanized, and they could seize land and power) leading the charge.

We are at a crossroads in the world’s reconciliation, it is why there is more harm. Change and healing drive dear and self-sabotage– look to the visceral white supremacist backed reactions under a faux cross to the pandemic restrictions. I state faux cross, because where is love of self & neighbour, the created image of the Holy, in the screaming of “I”; waving swastikas, disrupting life for neighbourhoods; dehumanizing the lives lost; using a pulpit to embolden attacks on politicians and leaders; defecating and urinating on memorials to heroic courage… the visceral evil response, to simply being told that you do not control life and death, we are a world of many, and many shall be heard, for all are equal, and equity & justice are real.

Equality, equity, justice, wonderful & beautiful diversity of the image of the creator…uhm all these shine through teachings in Judges & Prophets from the Hebrew Bible, and create the space of the challenge to authority that Jesus and John the Baptist showed in the gospels of the Christian Testament. One of the upsides of this c-tine, is that more faux layers of what is gospel living are being peeled away, the hateful-fearful echo chamber some religious have become, is crumbling, and they are gasping for relevancy.

A study in Canada, is giving the Anglican church, and others maybe another 40 years (1-2 anthropological generations) before they vanish. Is that the church? Or the institution, as the living body renews and re-births? Sheds the skin and cells as it moves forward into new life, its own Easter moment?

Which brings me to a thriving concept of missional church. It is preminent within all the current Christianities under the umbrella of Christendom, and those attempting to distance themselves from Christendom. It is about living into your beliefs, the bible stories; being local (in a lot of respects, it is about the parish model of via media as Anglicans practice). The unfortunate piece though is as a middle aged and crazy monk, learned in missiology (now termed inter-cultural); I do ponder if it is simply an attempt to rearrange the pews, and not actually allow for a new Easter moment.

As, with the more conservative/fundamental/charismatic churches missional can become a catch phrase of hyper-spiritualization and being lost in their own collective self-righteousness. Within progressive-mainline Christianities missional can become a catch phrase of hyper-seculariazation and loss in their own collective self-righteousness. Both missing the mark (a definition of community sin).

How can you be missional if your community lacks ongoing spiritual formation? Practice- maybe the idea of sacraments or not, but what are the central stories? How is the gospel shared? How does one grow? How do families grow? What does a worship service look like? Is the week endured to experience Sunday or is Sunday experienced to transform the week? And if the later what does that need to look like?

Are we lost within statistics from high levels, and trepiditious fear to engage community means we have to hide Jesus? Or do we become radically like Christ, and live otu love, open our spaces for authentic connection (see the belonging pyramid); allow for groups to share space and use? Be open for new people if they have a religious-spiritual background or not.

Do we view the growing nones on census as meaning there is not seeking of that intrinsic piece of self and community that renews and fills? Then we have missed the point of the growing nones, being htose looking at the atrocities; acknowledgements, but same old ship not as fully responding to the call.

Are we open to raidcally changing our institutions? Losing our buildings? Opening our buildings? Combining and working with those of different “denomnations” (Christendom Labels).

Are we open to challenging the fear narrative of parent choice in education? Challenging the reinvenstment in local public schools as community hubs for learning and connections. Knowing that this means an end to religious based schools and home schools, but opens a brilliant opportunity to engage in critical discourse & discussion, discipleship & formation within our communities, and families. It allows us to respond local, making relevant the statistics of where we live, and the responses needed.

Taking up the call that once was across Christianity, regardless of affiliation for public health care.

Regardless of the political affiliation, holding all leaders to account for integrity, and compassion to all citziens.

Asking the hard questions, about equipping, learning, discovery, what this means for religious based post-secondaries, and how they can be a part of the local cross-denominational changes.

In our communities, where are the connections to be made? The conversations to have? The sharing of resources to transform?

Think of the challenges of winter and heat of summer for houseless neighbours, what does a Gospel response look like to this?

Food insecurity? Missed bills?

How can one be missional when we do not leave the echo chamber of the one expression of our belief system?

Is missional simply, another catch phrase to make one feel gladdened, or is it a call to reforming renewal, that will change-end the institution as it is now in less than two generations, because the new is to come.

The church as a whole, is currently on the road to Calvary. The cross (cruciform) moment, is neigh….

How will we engage the time int he tomb?