Celebrating the Resurrection amisdt the Larger Church

I want to share my thoughts with you regarding this weekend.

We made the decision quite naturally to celebrate the anniversary of the new dawn of history, the resurrection of Christ, with the Church. Nothing unusual about that, but we decided to make it with the larger church. We went to three different Easter services at three different church brands. That is 3x more than we have ever done before. Two on Saturday and one today. Some might say this is something you do when you are ‘looking for a new church’. For me that is not the case. I am already a member of “The Church”. My heart is flooding with ideas over all of this. In the past I would have felt out of place in doing this and would have seen anyone who did it as a disconnected Christian.

After a long time of wrestling over the issue, I am liberated. I have had the clear idea for a while, since the last pastors conference we did in 2008, that the Church needs to really become one. Walking that out on a practical level, when so much of the church culture today is built on something else, is not so easy. Tough, because there are barriers first in my own mind. We spent most of our adult lives in a church where superiority comparisons were commonplace. It played to my insecurities and I played along. Also, I have really believed and still do in the awesome role of the local church in relationship to accountability, discipleship and mutual endeavor. However, I dismissed the imbalances I have seen in this area due to the upside. Secondly, the barriers in the church culture are formidable. When we visited church number 2 last night, where we used to attend regularly, one of the good people there said to me, “Welcome home”. In the past I would have reacted sheepishly (pun intended) to this, or more recently gotten irked over the prodigal implication, but instead I just laughed. I know the Church itself, the biblical Kingdom of God where trust and purpose coexist in the community of believers, is where I feel at ‘home’. The pull of fife-dom belonging is immense. We innately want to belong to a group we like, but the truth is that the overemphasis of the local church over the Church is a deep, religious, unbiblical imbalance that I believe is keeping people away and the Holy Spirit grieved.

I talk about being free here in this conviction, but I suppose I should get back to you after I get some feedback. I have kept it mostly to myself so far, so it is yet to be tested. We must test all things. All I know is that I am operating by conscience and have a John 17:22 vision for the larger Body that Christ is building. God won’t let me shake it, and I can’t help feeling this wilderness time we are in is connected with a need to learn to stand strong, even if alone. As in all cultures, there is a lot of mammon and flesh arrayed to maintain the status quo. I wish I could say that the church today is free from this, but we all know otherwise.

For the record, each service was amazing. People were saved, baptized, added to the Kingdom and Christ was duly exalted. It was exhilarating. A friend hammered me to state which service I liked best, for which I had no answer. As a citizen of Heaven first, how could I? I am free.

Now, I also had a bit of a spark in me to put together a message from this lesson I am living through, called, “The sermon you wont hear your pastor preach”. Is that too provocative? Or is it pointless, since you wont hear him preach it? I cherish your thoughts on this.

One Comment to “Celebrating the Resurrection amisdt the Larger Church”

  1. Allen & Judy Rogers Says:

    Allen and I love what you wrote, Andrew! We really are too divided. Have you ever read the book, Within Heaven’s Gates” by Rebecca Springer? It’s over 100 years old. It came across our path recently. She speaks of what it is like in Heaven, after her visit there. It’s all about coexisting in God’s beautiful harmony. It’s how we were meant to be. On July 2nd last year I (Judy) literally died of cardiac arrest. God miraculously brought me back. By all standards, I should not be as normal as I am after what I went through. God is amazing! I’m back for His purposes. What a wake-up call. There is so much in me that would have left earth that day. I believe God still wants to use so much of my life’s experiences to share with others. I love to write and share what I learn. My spiritual journey on this earth is quite unigue and filled with lesson and growth in the realm of what you speak. We would love to hear what you wrote in, “The sermon you wont hear your pastor preach”. I’m confident there are many who would want to hear it as well. We are on board with you! The local church for accountability, growth, fellowship, etc. is great. We need to keep our eyes on Jesus, asking Him to keep us walking in true love for the whole body of believers….and I don’t mean just Christians. We have been astounded by the faith in others who aren’t covenanted yet with Jesus. If we let our light dim towards them, how will they ever want to come to Him, and receive their final link to entering fully into His Kingdom? Wasn’t it Paul who spoke of “the unknown” God? He used what they knew to enlighten them to what they didn’t know. God has so much more for us if we will let His Holy Spirit speak deeper insights to us. God’s rich blessings be with you and Kathrine. Love and prayers, Allen and Judy : )

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