(and no I’m not talking about Sunday Papers or Richard – just the church in general and me (Mark) in particular)
Is it because: We comfort ourselves with thoughts that we don’t “sin” much – so therefore we forget what doing wrong feels like (not because we aren’t doing wrong, but because we kid ourselves that we aren’t). So now, we have forgotten what it feels like to do wrong and we can’t imagine what it feels like for people who know that they are doing wrong – in fact, we forget that there are
people who believe that they are doing wrong!
So we have forgotten how to address people who are aware of their wrongdoing. We can’t imagine what to say to people who are aware of their wrongdoing because we’ve forgotten what it feels like to be a wrongdoer.
There are people out there who know that they do wrong and know that they want out of it, but (very) unfortunately we’ve forgotten what to say to them because we’ve forgotten what it feels like to do wrong (because we kid ourselves that we don’t do much wrong).
I experienced this with a friend just the other day – he knew he was doing wrong, but I just didn’t relate to it. I let him down.
I need to put myself on a programme that reminds me how wrong I am so much of the time and at the same time reminds me of the basics of what Jesus has done for people like me – because it seems that I’ve forgotten. After all, if I’ve forgotten how wrong I am then I’m forgetting how much Jesus wants to, and can, help us.
This is a kind of reworking of an earlier post exploring how we can use post modern conditions (PMC) to aid the process of mission or if you like how can the charateristics of post modernity help us help the world and ourselves become fully human. They all inter relate but here are a few I have been thinking on.
PMC Truth is relative
– reinforces the need for missional humility countering the Christendom arrogance.
– reinforces that it is God’s mission not ours
PMC This is my truth
– mission is a dialogue and christianity is a faith that questions our answers so we can journey together
-we do not have a monopoly on truth but see through a glass dimly they may help liberate us
– if we listen thier truth they will listen to ours
– trust our story
PMC it is all one
– mission is worship which fuels our faith and gives time to engage with people
– is a response that goes beyond the categories of modernity so can itself be critiqued
– you will find God in that moment
PMC Individualist consumerism
– even here God is present, there is the echo of a memory that this may not fullfill
– the fleeting nature of the purchase and the God who plays hide and seek
PMC it is all relative
– opens dialogue and listening which in turns offers and reinforces the desire for relationships
– a good place to start a journey of discovery
PMC hyper criticism
– if a seeker seeks they will find, encourge the questions rather close down the dialogue by giving an answer
– the offer and possible discovery of the herectical imperative
– christ is beyond the propositional approachs and faith is not about assent to the particular
Great day yesterday at the Cathedral with Exeter diocese as part of their Fishnets training days. You can download a text version of my keynote address here or the slides from the address and workshop here . If you came along and have any questions or thoughts feel to add a comment to this post and i will respond as approriate. If your are interested in developing a Church on the edge type of approach feel free to get in touch.