November 21, 2006


I have something I want to say here, but I have a feeling it is going to come out sort of messy, so bear with me. I promise I won't go a long way for nothing. Sunday night, my best friend, Teia was able to come into town. We decided to attend Mosaic (a local church's college service) for the first time since July (the last time she was in town. Mosaic is sort of a tradition of ours). While we were there, we sang a song called "My Glorious". I have always loved this song because of personal implications, but it set wheels turning in my head.

The song's first verse is simple and fairly uninspired (as far as Chris Tomlin songs are concerned.) But, the bridge is where I really started thinking;

And all You ever do
is change the old for new
People we believe that

God is bigger than
the air I breathe
The world we'll leave
God will save the day
and all will say
My glorious!
A few times around in the song, I was reminded of something I posted on my old blog back in September of '05:

I was reading Brennan Manning's book, "A Glimps of Jesus: The Stranger To Self- Hatred" the other night, and I had an epiphone. In the book, Manning explains that one of the greatest causes of self-hatred amongst Christians is legalism. Now, I know I hate that word. Really, I do... because people overuse it, and they think that any sort of restriction put on a Christian by the word of God is "legalism". However, Manning was referring to opressive religious practices that have no scriptural base. He said that legalism isn't the biggest problem for Christians; the biggest problem for Christians is that we fail to let Jesus Christ be who He truly is in our lives. That got me. Man, that got me.

I think, as Christians, we tend to let our views of Christ levitate toward one extreme or another, either all-loving, or all-judging. But we forget that His love and His justice go hand in hand. They work together to cultivate in us an incredible spirit and closeness to Him. We stunt that so often. We invite in His love, but we aren't willing to face His judgement and correction-- or we live in fear of rebuke, and we never get to see the Christ that holds out His arms to us in love. We miss the point so much... I miss the point so much. God created us so that we could glorify Him, but we can't glorify Him to our fullest unless we allow Him to work in every part of our lives with every part of who He is.

Think about that.

How big would our lives be? How drastic would the change be? How righteous could we become, how beautiful could He make us if He, in His fullness was involved in our lives completely?

Now that you have this in your mind, and you probably agree with me so far-- ponder the question: as a whole Church, are we letting GOD be WHOLLY involved? How much of what we do in a church service is man-made and underived from scripture? How much of it has been created with the mentality of "We have to make this work", and the implied notion that the Holy Spirit will NOT work without our help? Now, think about how transformed His Church could be if we just let Him take the wheel-- If we let Him be the Potter, instead of turning Him into simple clay. He changes old for new. He saves the day. He's bigger than a four point sermon. He's bigger than a cliche worship chorus. He's bigger than liturgy. He's bigger than any tradition. He's bigger than festivals, or coffeehouse themes, or Christian bands, or any other form of ministry that WE try to execute instead of letting Him. How golrious would the Church really be if we just let Him use us, instead of us exploiting Him?


Slatts said...

You said that the idea might come out a bit messy. I think I may have to agree. One message is clear: God should be wholly involved in the life of the Church. I think the message that is less clear is the practical question of how do we do that and what does it look like.

Your complaint is the echo of some criticisms I've heard about calling the mass a "worship service". The criticism is that the mass is not just something we do, it is the participation in what Christ has done for us. The mentality of modernity is against that understanding and tends towards what we are doing, instead of what God is doing and has done and wills to continue in our hearts.

So your theory is clear and I think right...but how does that work out on the practical level?

Jessica R. Goodwin said...

My complaint was simply that Christians-- Catholic or Protestant-- rely on their acts of worship to make some kind of difference, rather than relying on the Holy Spirit to transform lives. God does not NEED a Mass OR a Protestant church service to extend salvation, but He HAS commanded us to personally share the Gospel.

Terry M. Goodwin said...

Jessica - I hear you and see your point Crystal Clear.

Tear down the things of man that have been added to control the church and empower each Christian to live according to the leading of the Holy Spirit.

All that would be left is a God controlled movement of the Holy Spirit.

I can hear the comments now....

I am ready for such a movement.

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