Essentially a community is designed and populated with robotic wives – perfect robotic wives, so their husbands can do what ever they want without the trappings of spousal accountability, commitment, humility, etc. It is: I create a world that appears to be like the real world, yet under the surface it is artificial . . . maybe sinister.
Remember that idolatry is really self-worship. That is, when one carves an idol, names the idol, places the idol and then decides (without the input of the idol, I might add) how the idol is to be worshipped – and yes, I’m talking about pseudo-pagan/animistic polity here – at the end of the day, who’s Creator; who’s Sovereign; who’s the real God? For the idolators, it’s themselves.
Let me lob another kernal into the popper before I get to the punch-line. It was C.S. Lewis in his The Four Loves, I think, that remarked in regards to love, that at the moment it becomes your god, it becomes your devil.
Now, with those two ideas in the hopper, let’s get back to the original. The church is messy and sometimes a mess. Why? What’s the problem? People.
Of course, they’re (we’re) the point also.
It was a phrase that just popped out today during our friends of the church plant meeting – “We worship the way we worship Jesus more than we just worship Jesus.”
If we look around we see it all the time – great emphasis on style, little emphasis on content. Even when we have solid content, the way that it is presented eclipses the message. I remember being at the T4G conference last year and when John Piper spoke, I literally thought the two guys directly in front of me were going to come out of their skin. The were shaking first at his appearance and then about every 30 seconds one would say to the other, “Hear how he said that? He’s awesome!” - Or some derivative of the like.
“Hear how he said that” . . .
This is Way Worship, not even real worship – not even real idolatry. It’s a cheat.
1. What do we do?
2. (and maybe more forefront in our minds) How do we do it?
Now, there is a danger crouching behind these questions, but I will deal with that in 3.2.
So far we have seen that we have been given a Mission and such an imperative has the implied call to obey it. I suppose it isn’t too cliche to say that God doesn’t make suggestions. This should be delightfully obeyed, because it should find an immediate harmonious connection within our own desires, thus given us a very organic internal Motivation – namely, that we are Christians who love Jesus and we want others to love Him too. If you have trouble agreeing with the first two points in this paragraph and series, then you may not know Him, even likely so. If that is the case, go here.
So, to answer the first question, we are to make disciples of Jesus Christ. This must never be eclipsed by men, fellowships, denominations, traditions nor religion.
We DO NOT make disciples of ourselves.
We DO NOT make disciples of (human) leaders.
We DO NOT make disciples of our local fellowships (churches).
We DO NOT make disciples of a denomination.
We DO NOT make disciples of a particular school of thought.
We DO NOT make disciples of Christianity.
What if we were given one thing to do – just one main mission – and we didn’t do it? Now, this does not imply that this one thing is an all encompassing definition of our lives and all of the reality adjacent to our lives – but, it is the one thing – the main thing we are to do. I guess it would depend upon who gave us the mission and what was at stake . . . right?
When reading Acts 14, specifically Acts 14:21-28, I see an interesting, rather arresting pattern. The text says that Paul “made many disciples . . . strengthened the souls of the disciples . . . and spent a long time (not a little time) with the disciples.” This is a profound narrative. Paul could have, according to some – should have, kept working “for the faith”, since all of these people were already converts. Yet, he spent precious time encouraging and building up the Church and he spent large amounts of that time. Why? Why would he do that?