Thursday, April 12, 2007

the church is not promoting health

Frank Viola accurately makes the following charge.
... the institutional church is essentially a nursery for overgrown spiritual babes. Because it has habituated God's people into being passive receivers, it has stunted their spiritual development and kept them in spiritual infancy. (The incessant need for predigested, dished out spiritual food is a mark of spiritual immaturity -- I Cor. 3:1-2; Heb. 5:12-14) ... The church has claimed the ground of a believing priesthood. But it failed to occupy that ground!
As before, I certainly agree with that charge but not necessarily on the same basis as Viola and certainly not with the same solution. One does not have to look far to see that most "believers" see Christianity as a "spectator-sport". Viola points to lack of participation in the Sunday service as evidence of this. I point to daily living.

While I can agree that our Sunday morning forms in part promote this unhealthy behavior, I do not see this as the cause. One could even argue that the problems we see on Sunday morning are more of the symptom rather than the cause. Frankly, even if we attained Viola's vision of Sunday morning, if day in and day out, moment by moment, we are not both proclaiming and demonstrating the Kingdom of God, then we are falling short.

We need the mutual edification, etc., that he calls for every moment of every day.

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