Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Detoxing From Detox
Everyone who has made the transition from Institutional or Traditional Church into an Organic church understands what I mean by “detox”. It’s the period of time where you have to unlearn all the bad habits and screwy theology that you picked up in the man-made, pastor-centric church you grew up in.
That means unlearning everything you thought you knew about tithing, about spiritual covering, about pastoral authority, and about what it means to “be” the church rather simply attend a meeting once a week.
The process can take months, even years, to fully take effect. During that time you probably undergo a variety of emotions like anger (at yourself for not seeing how wrong you were), frustration (at your christian friends who continue to blindly accept the same assumptions you did for so long), and sadness (because so many of your brothers and sisters remain oblivious to their identity in Christ and the freedom Jesus intends for them in His ekklesia).
If you’ve been through that process already, you know that it can end up tainting your fellowship with other believers – even in (maybe especially in) – an Organic church setting.
This can make for some overly toxic church gatherings that linger on everything that’s bad about the Institutional Church rather than simply centering on the goodness of God and the “unsearchable riches of Christ.”
In fact, I think these sorts of Organic Church gatherings where the attention is still on “how they are wrong and we are right” can be MORE damaging and ineffective than simply sitting through a sermon and a song at the church building down the street.
There are some Organic Churches that need to detox from their detoxing and move on to enjoying the freedom of “being the Church” as Jesus intended. They need to stop pointing fingers at those who are doing it wrong and start simply doing it right. This means coming together with your brothers and sisters to seek the face of Jesus. Only listen for His voice. Only wait for His prompting. Only speak of His excellent greatness. Only rest in His faithfulness and mercy.
Certainly, there is a time for venting our frustrations. There is sometimes a need to remind one another why were are here and thank God for what He has taken us out of. But perhaps that time is not when the Body comes together to gather around Christ? Maybe we could get together for coffee to detox and keep the focus on Jesus when the Church meets as one?
In fact, I would like to insist on it.
NOTE: This article originally appeared on House2HouseMagazine.com