Friday, February 17, 2006

Something to critique...

We’ve seen the problems, so what are we going to do about them? Do we have the guts to stick it out and help or are we going to turn our back on them and figure God can use someone else to help them? God has showed us the problems. He’s given us the burden to return to Him and His ideals. How can we walk away from such a mission field right in our own churches?

We need to consider these questions. Do we just shrug off our personal needs when we become aware of them? NO, we get to work on them in the power of the Holy Spirit. Just so, are we going to allow the ninety and nine to perish while our Lord is out there seeking the one lost soul?
One problem I see with the “once saved, always saved” crowd is the lack of concern for their brethren’s beliefs and practices, after all it doesn’t matter what we do or do not do; we are eternally saved, so we can just join a “better” program at church “B” and let church “A” sink. I am coming to the belief that we Mennos are adopting this attitude too.
What is so hard in operating within obedience to whatever standard or teaching we see as “the problem” that we cannot work in unity to seek the changes necessary? If we are truly dead to self, yet alive towards God, shouldn’t this be a proper direction to work.
I hope and pray that we are spiritually more driven to consider one another’s needs more highly than our “need” to just walk away, saying “be ye warmed, filled, and clothed as God wills.” Granted, these “problems” are important and the correction may look impossible to us; we must remember that such situations are not an impossibility to God; let us be faithful to God in the work He has revealed to us.

This discourse was found on the following site in response to questions about how to fix the system (the existing church structure) in the light of new concerns young members raise.

Some questions to get it started:
Who is the once saved always saved crowd?
Who is the critique leveled at?
Is the "be warmed and filled" application contextually accurate or a new and appropriate application.


espíritu paz said...

I find this interaction with the topic very intresting if one is to compare it with other folks who are discussing the same sorts of issues. Actually, an occasional commenter on my blog, had a discussion with Emergant people on his blog. The excerpt above is from a blog named Emerging Anabaptism. Notice the focus of the responses--the special interests of the two dialogues. The similarity is in the fact that each group is concerned about change in the church in ight of the emergent interests. The difference is in one group, the age span between leader and revolutionizer is quite a bit wider than the other. I'd say 40 to ten would be the ratio. For the Emergant Anabaptism dialogue, the above is a very typical response to a younger member of the congregation who seeks change. Unity, working out salvation in community, anti-church hopping are the special intrests of the Mennonite church. In contrast, "Emergent" and already, the counter-emergent or perhaps "renegencia" seem to assume subdivisions and are intrested in a lot of, well, language and packaging of an idea.

S-Nisly said...

Who is the once saved always saved crowd?
Is this writer referring to perhaps the mentality that assumes that the fundimentals of belief are so correct by anyone who is "in", that an individual has the luxury to think only of his or her own concerns or preferences when it comes to identifying with a congregation.
Who is the critique leveled at?
My first opinion is that it is to those who are questioning how church is done and see it as a hinderance to "real" Christianity.
Is the "be warmed and filled" application contextually accurate or a new and appropriate application.
I would say contextually accurate, I found it interesting to think about as it relates to our concern for the spiritual welfare for our brother. Because of our own self absorption we may assume another is doing well physically or spiritually because by all appearances they look like they are doing ok.
These are only my opinions! I would love to hear yours or others views as well.

S-nisly said...

This weekend I read an article published in a newsletter for pastors called "the Parish Paper". It is published by the Conservative Mennonite Conference.
This article , written by Lyle E. Schaller, titled 'Surviving the Rapids of Change', builds it's point on the premise that because our culture has shifted from a producer-driven to a consumer-driven culture it has produced a generation gap in how we view church.
Those born and reared prior to 1960 see consumerism as it relates to church somewhere between betrayal and proof of Evil unleached in the world.
Those born and reared after 1960 reflect "the shift from inherted allegiance to personal choice allegiance".
These two realities produce conflict and churches that refuse to negotiate change will die out.
If this is true, what can church leaders as well as members do to negotiate these "rapids of change"?

espíritu paz said...

Sorry s-nisly. I didn’t realize anyone wanted to discuss down here. I’m glad you noticed and took the time? This isn’t a very Mennonite friendly blog, but I threw this in to sort of mix and compare the two types of discussions going on over the same thing. CHANGE. I don’t think my regulars understood any of the dialogue I was pointing them to, but I gained someone new. I’ve always heard references to the “once saved always saved crowd” and as I have heard it, it is a term invented by the Mennonites to critique those in Mainstream evangelical churches and others who have a conversion experience and then after that never do much else to grow their faith. The worst variety of this type of person are those who then believe they can sin and still make it to heaven. The Mennonites are saying this type of person is mistaken because joining the community of Christ is a part of salvation. I think that is essentially what you are saying. Yet this conversation of change in the Mennonite church is being discussed by the old generation as well as the new generation about the church both old and young still go to. With the other group I refer to, they are one of the newest formations of church. Subdividing off of “mother churches” with respect to generational lines is an assumed phenomenon based on the needs and desires of the younger generation. It has the appearance of once saved always saved, and the young separatist is to blame. Yet the problem is actually systemic or societal pattern: elder is just as much to blame as the younger. Probably the dead people are even more to blame. Additionally the current change is happening so fast there is virtually no shared memory between the generations, which is a tragedy. Each generation remakes itself. With respect to the article you mention, the focus of interest between the 1960 generational divide, the Mennonite church (wherein change happens at a slower rate) can alter its trajectory and understand its need for altered trajectory by looking and understanding the mainstream evangelical situation—since it is a few more generations down the road. One thing I can say is that the Mennonite church, the young and the old, do not want what is happening in popular evangelical culture. Those my generation and younger in the non-Mennonite Christian world are returning to the mentality and belief-systems of those who are pre-1960. My friend Chris is probably the biggest voice of anti-consumerism I’ve met yet. I think he’s just a little ahead of his time. Interesting stuff.

espíritu paz said...

By the way...please, do, post again.