Tuesday, November 18, 2014

What if God died?

Ignoring what they say, and what they sing, and what they pray, countless Christians live as though God were dead—and the Church of Jesus Christ needs above averything else to re-discover the fact that God is alive, and to act as though He were!

Suppose that God were to die tonight! Would it really make any difference to the way you live your Christian life tomorrow? For all you really count upon Him as you go about your daily business, or even do your Christian work, would you notice any difference? Would it make the slightest difference next Sunday in the services in your place of worship, if God were to die tonight? Or would it be business as usual? Would anybody know if nobody told them? Or would the whole machine grind on, with the people in the pew, the parson in the pulpit, and the special offering for the building fund! Nobody ever told them that God was dead!

If we dare to face the hard, cold-blooded truth, we would have to admit today that there is so little in the life of our churches, so little in the activity of so many of our missionary societies and Christian organizations that cannot be explained in terms of man’s ability and promotional activity, that few would cease to function if God were dead.— The Saving Life of Christ, pages 133-134

<idle musing>
Well? Do we really believe that "our life is hidden with Christ in God?" Do we really believe that "in him we live and move and have our being?"

I just finished Forgotten God (yes, I know, it's 5 years old now) yesterday. His theme is essentially the same. And then this morning I ran across this:

In fact there is much in the Protestant ministry world which is a carbon copy of the capitalist corporation. For some the adoption of a commercial, corporate organizational form is simply contextualizing to our capitalist culture. But I wonder if the Protestant church and mission world has crossed a line from contextualization to syncretism...

...The fact that we use either the “for-profit” or “non-profit” designation for nearly all organizations tells you something about the centrality of the commercial, profit-centered business in defining nearly all human organizations. Organizations are labeled by their relationship to profit. We generally would not think of describing non-profits as human flourishing agencies and for-profits as non-human-flourishing organizations...

...The corporate blueprint has pushed us toward treating the gospel as a product, turning our ministries into businesses and people into consumers.

Indeed. There seems to be precious little space for the Holy Spirit in our daily lives; we've got it too together—or so we claim and so we think...I suspect the only person we're really fooling is ourselves (and none too effectively at that!).

But the alternative is, well honestly, just too scary! Let go? Are you kidding! God might require me to actually let Him control my life! I can't have that! (Never mind that I've managed to do a good job of really screwing it up by myself!)

But the Holy Spirit stands there, patiently wooing me home...
</idle musing>

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