A while back, while working in the institutional organization behemoth of the United Methodist Church, I wrote some stuff deconstructing the church. The truth was: I was having a field day throwing rocks at every stained glass thing I could find. I thought if I could breakdown enough stuff, people would start looking around and notice that shit is broken.
But they didn’t.
They just saw the immaturity (which was valid) and discounted my intuition of the institution on the basis of the immaturity.
I was mad. So I left. I packed up my notes, my sermons, my experiences, and my voice.
It’s taken some time to regroup and part of me doesn’t want to regroup. Organizing anything around God seems to absorb egos, preferences and judgments. It’s like a sponge for the most rootedness of our fallen-ness. When I see it being practiced, I see politics, bigotry, and greed.
What I don’t see is freedom.
I see sheep looking for rules, 3 steps to _______, and quotations of religious “leaders” that are out of context to justify our prisons of personal perception.
It’s a weird, sick gravity that keeps us returning to the desert. Maybe we are destined to wander until we understand that God is enough. Maybe there is a biblical cyclical force that we have to understand to understand what God is doing.
It’s easy to see it in older churches just because there more evidence that religion is now the “fruit”, but I can smell it in church plants and in missional communities as well. It’s an aroma of “we need to do this”. It’s subtle and can be slowly subversive, but it’s an attack on faith.
Even Laodicea was fruitful at one time.
I’m not against boundaries and disciplines to a degree, but just because they are useful doesn’t make them necessary. You can understand and experience God without any of them. I’d even posture that those that disagree haven’t completely arrived themselves.
Maybe there are non-negotiables, but I doubt it. I’m not doubting God as much as I’m doubting people and their “authorities”.
Maybe I’ll write more on the extensive list I’ve written in the past…
Or maybe it’s unnecessary because people who are religion “pushers” know that they aren’t the freedom fighters.