I was sick and tired and impatient to be in a new country with a lot of fun work ahead of me with a new team and a new language and a new role. So this may have been emotional shock, but I’m shocked. I’m shocked by the ignorance of man to the goodness of God.
The amount of times i’ve sat with beautiful talented people and heard their own voice say ‘I’m no good, I’m untalented, no one loves me’ are uncountable, on multiple continents for the last 29 years. Where do we get these ideas? Why aren’t we better at slapping each others faces when we speak out evil falsities?
Why do we look in the face of a good God, with great plans for our lives and see in black and white cubism? The oldest institution in my life outside of my family is beautiful, and solid, and faithful, and committed. They taught me the difference between good and evil. They taught me the value of making someone soup when they are sick, how to sing when we are joyful, and how to comfort one another by sitting and not talking. But, like a lot of old institutions the commitments that we have flocked to quite faithfully are also our downfall.
Church has changed.
Church will keep changing.
And by refusing to change we will miss the boat, the bus, the flight, and the party.
And of course these thoughts are true for most of the church worldwide…. we refuse to follow Jesus into innovative, creative community building. But that day, I had been given the chance to share the stories that God has given me to share and, wisely, was then asked not to share as it would offend certain members to hear fresh, new, good things from out of their worldview.
Of course it would. When a group of white upper-class, well educated people hear stories from villages in Africa and Cambodia and East Timor, of course it is going to rock us a little…. because its different.
BUT How do we grow if we never get any NEW input?
What will change us other than a change in us? A change in what we are hearing?
I’ve lived the last 5 years in a community of people I largely disagree with. We agree on Jesus being God and Man, life being a supernatural fight between good and evil and treat others as you think Jesus would treat them BUT, a lot of life has been a balance of learning and dialoguing why and how we could do things better. There have been moments of real irritation but it means I largely know what I believe really well, and I have grown in what I believe. I have deepened my understanding of God and people.
You know the other way of deepening that?
Go and live in a country that hates Jesus. Either subtly or aggressively.
Countries like Australia and America, we can convince ourselves that they are God-loving nations and rest on our laurels knowing that our jobs are done gospel-wise, but its a lie. And the less we take refuge in our Christian bubbles planning to do nothing of note in our communities… or the less we commute to church – to communities we aren’t even interested in… or the less we are “too busy” to let God use us in our communities…. the MORE we will see how much we need to learn, how much we NEED to grow in our closeness with God.