Wednesday, May 24, 2006

secrets and sparks

"You can't talk about this thing with just anybody. People worry about you. They may think you're changing sides, turning traitor. They may talk about you as if you came down with some communicable disease. So you keep this sort of thing like a dirty secret, this doubt that is not really a doubt about God or Jesus or faith but about our take on God, our version of Jesus, our way of faith. You let it out only when you feel you have found someone you can trust." -from the introduction to A New Kind Of Christian

7 comments:

Steve S. said...

I have wondered just how different Mclaren's experiences are from ours...

there is a radical difference between the experience of church-goers on the West Coast and elsewhere in the US.

McLaren seems to be alluding to problems with the Church that I have simply not seen to the degree that he points to.

I have never felt like I was expected to sell myself to any particular theory or understanding, but only to the person of Jesus. I have, in fact, been encouraged to seek out challenging perspectives and to rethink long held beliefs. So long as the motive for holding onto beliefs, or jettisoning them, was proximity to Jesus!

Of course, I have also only been involved in two churches as a serious disciple of Jesus; and only one church in any truly intentional relationships.

Perhaps I have simply landed at a very unique church? However, I must say I have yet to run into the truly closed-minded traditionalists anywhere other than the internet.

While I sympathize, I cannot empathize with McLaren's statement. I simply have not ever felt that way...

brett said...

hey steve,
i have had many talks with my sister in particular about those who are converted into christianity or into believing in christ and those who are socialized into christianity. i am of the latter and can very much empathize here. but, my desire and god-longing has always been present and made it possible for me to be at a place where i can ask questions as opposed to bailing out of the religion for something else, although at times in my life it may appear that is what i have been doing, i could never escape the reality of god in jesus.
having grown up in a church and worked in and attended many more i can say from my experience you are in a very unique church...and the pastors there are pretty cool.

Steve S. said...

Do you feel that you were personally discouraged from an honest pursuit of truth? If so, what did that look like?

What was the atmosphere like at the Church(es) you were in leadership at?

brett said...

in a manner of speaking, at one church in particular, i was personally discouraged from pursuing truth. the context was a pastor and elder board who were making some HUGE decisions with little or no prayer and talking very coarsly about people. when it was brought up by myself and others there was a stifling fog of defensiveness.
while i was away at bible college i was introduced to the ugliness of politics in church leadership, and again there was a staunch defense of doing things the way they had always done them, with no ear for biblical patience, love and gentleness.
i realize that our church is probably not all that unique but again from my perspective it is unique to me in that it is very open and inviting, without a compromise of faith and truth. many churches in my past were very inviting if you were willing to conform to their ideals, including personal appearance. and the sense you got was that first you had to have all your crap together THEN you could be a welcome member.

nellie said...

Brett,

It has been fun to read your blog. I would like to join in on the discussions when time allows as well. Maybe this summer will bring more time...

DeMar said...

Aloha, stumbled onto your discussion Brett. I really enjoy McLaren. Our 'take on God' is surely something we should most certainly talk about. Unlike in my past, I now would simply feel wierd if I had to walk through my odd intellectual swamp water alone. Let's get walking...

Sean said...

Let's play soccer man! We still want you on the team, where you at?