Friday, November 04, 2005

built for relation, not simply recognition

Icarus created a really interesting post ( ) about how church, although in his view flawed foundationally, still provides something legitimately in an area where the rest of our culture falls short: meaningful connectedness- totally worth reading and thinking about. he made a couple of assertions, however, that i did feel prompted to respond to. once again, the basic intellectual physics of one person's wheels turning acts as a magnetic catalyst for those of another.

"It's the sitting in church that provides the real lessons though..."

although this is a nice little idea, it is a bit skimpy in the whole experiencial faith and relationship realm. i mean, i should probably be a big proponent of the 'sitting in church' notion, being one of the preachers. however, this idea is no more accurate than saying that the real lessons in school come from sitting in class.

(drat! i've just busted myself again because i am also a school-teacher! no matter- i will stand here anyway. moving right along...)

"Half of what the church does has little if anything to do with God. So why do church going folk do it? Why do they attend just to sing some songs or go on a hay ride?"

healthy relationships are the brainchild of almighty God. he created many things which he called 'good' but only one which he referred to as 'very good'... humankind, of course. this was, in my view, because he had been at work creating many someTHINGs in order to eventually have the stage ready for the creation of someONEs. at last, in us, he had someone he could enjoy a relationship with, could fellowship with, could laugh with. we were created with the capacity to not only recognize but to relate- this may be what the whole 'image of God' phrase implies. the ability to enter into relationships within the context of free-will... relationships with both God and other human beings.

it is for this reason (and probably a million others) that people go to church. it is not about the sitting or the standing or the singing or the is in the coming together of people- an agreed-upon connection that bears not only physical and social but spiritual colour- that people draw great strength and direction from at church.

however, i do agree with icarus that, with regard to our other outstanding outposts of community involvement, education and humanitarian engagement, the functional (as opposed to dysfunctional-that's a whole nother blog) gathered fellowship of believers, whether we come together to celebrate the God who created us all in a corporate worship experience, or play hockey together to celebrate good health and fresh air, is a connection that is strengthened by its spiritual foundation.

all things that are truly good have everything to do with the author of that goodness. they are celebrations of who God is as evidenced in all of creation.

postscript: likewise, i suppose, all things that have fallen from being truly good are indicative of how long satan's leash has been allowed to be... for the timebeing.

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