Several of my favorite blog reads have been especially concerned of late about how to do church … Brian Burkett, Wade Hodges, and bartender “thewalrus” at thesecondchance (don’t belly up to this bar if you’re easily offended, though; the virtual drinks are served full strength and the language can be as salty as a margarita glass).
It makes me wonder if I should put words to my own version: The Postulant’s Screed, if you will … where “postulant” is defined as “someone making a request, especially to enter a religious order” and “screed” is defined as “a long and boring piece of writing” and/or “a strip of something set as an architectural guide to making a straight line (orthodox).”
Maybe it would go something like this:
- I’m not sure I believe in the church anymore; after all, Jesus only mentioned it once or twice. But I do believe in the kingdom because He talked about it a lot, and so did the writers of the New Testament.
- The problem is, I don’t know how much the church and the kingdom overlap and I don’t have a good feel for any solid preference – let alone command – about size, structure, or procedure expressed in scripture. So do those things matter?
- I get the feeling that Jesus and his followers were much more concerned about persuading others to pursue a relationship with God through His Son … and right after that, taking care of each other’s needs as much as possible.
- I can’t help but feel that worship began, at least, on a daily basis and was virtually indistinguishable from service. I mean right at first; right after Pentecost.
- And something niggling in the back of my mind (it might be a verse of scripture, or maybe a song) convinces me that if I would just seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, that all the other things I worry about would be given to me as well.
- I mean, I know what I’d like to have in worship and in church if it was up to me … and I don’t see a lot of “thou shalts” and “thou shalt nots” connected to it (except that it comes from my heart, of course) … so maybe isn’t it more important for me to serve the needs of others in those contexts? Won’t God see to it that my needs are met, and maybe even choose to meet them through my sisters and brothers in Christ?
- Am I just crazy? Too simplistic? Need more scripture citations? (Well, the Apostles and the Council of Nicea didn’t cite book, chapter or verse!)
Okay, sorry that was long and boring.
But it just wouldn’t be a screed otherwise.