Today I begin a Journey.
I have been writing and thinking and struggling for a while now, and have boiled all my thoughts down into a single manifesto. I need something to cling to in this world to give me focus and purpose. If you know me at all, you know that my hope is in the grace of God through Jesus Christ. But I struggle with the Institution of the Church, the Religion of Christianity. I feel as if the human structure on which modern Christianity is built–christendom–is now doing more harm than good.
God is good. The church survives in spite of whatever humans may or may not do to hurt or help. That is not my point. I know I will eventually have to write more about this, but for now I want to leave it at this: christendom has failed, the church has not.
Meanwhile, I have been trying to figure out what might be a better framework for the next generation of Christ followers. I have been involved in this whole Emerg[ing|ent] line of questioning and exploration, and yet it seems many of our attempts to reengage the culture get hung up in christendom models. No matter how cool we are, or how welcoming we make our services, or how politically sensitive we try to be–if our goal is to get people in our doors, I think we have lost sight of the gospel. Jesus asked his disciples to follow him out into the world. He never asked them to bring anyone back anywhere.
That’s why I can’t “do the church thing”. My heart is broken for all my friends and all the people I see every day for whom the church has no value, no purpose. At best, they’ve just never encountered Jesus because the idiots on TV turn them off. At worst, they been judged and condemned by the church–hurt physically and emotionally. That breaks my heart.
So, although I am the least qualified to do so, I have written The Broken Heart Manifesto. I have tried to write it in such a way that anyone can take it up, hopefully without any barriers (other than the English language), and allow it to re-form their lives. I an anxious to see what it does to mine. I will be journaling the process, and invite you to do the same.
I am scared.
I am hopeful.