Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Taking the plunge ...

"Welcome my son, welcome to the machine.

What did you dream?

It’s alright we told you what to dream."

- Pink Floyd, Welcome to the Machine

I suppose I am taking the blog plunge because within me resides a Divine dream, and out here, in this virtual ocean of thought, is as good a place as any to begin to expound upon it.

You see, this is a dream where the Christ followers in this world live such a life of difference that the world is transformed into a better place because of it.

That doesn't sound very new I realize. It's not a revolutionary thought to toss out in hopes of being one of the new profound voices in the blogosphere.

Many dream it.

It is a dream that, in my case, is unfortunately often hampered because I am a paid believer. I "minister" within the safe and secure walls of the church. I work within the machine.

Now don't misread me in this, my first ever, posting. For all its flaws, I love the church. Jesus died for the church, but I long to live my life in such a way that it is a bit scandalous in the way that Jesus' life was. I want to be criticized by the religious establishment for my choices of friends and for where I am seen frequenting (Matt. 11:18) ...

... but I do love the church and have no desire to reinvent the wheel. I don't want to "emerge" or to "plant" a new uber-cool congregational vision of what the church should "really" be. I want to live out Jesus' radical love within the context of my hundred and fifty plus year old church.

And yes, that congregation is limited in its vision at times and it does come across as the voice of the machine trying to tell me "what to dream." but the Divine dream remains if I dare to listen to it ...

As I said, I realize that I'm not the first to dream it ...

"The 'outsider' who knows nothing of the mixture of tradition, conviction, honest difference, and hidden resentment, that lies behind the divisions of the Christian Church sees clearly the advantage of a united Christian front and cannot see why the Churches cannot 'get together'. The problem is doubtless complicated, for there are many honest differences held with equal sincerity, but it is only made insoluble because the different denominations are (possibly unconsciously) imagining God to be Roman or Anglican or Baptist or Methodist or Presbyterian or what have you. If they could see beyond their little inadequate god, and glimpse the reality of God, they might even laugh a little and perhaps weep a little. The result would be a unity that actually does transcend differences, instead of ignoring them with public politeness and private contempt."
- J.B. Phillips, Your God is Too Small

So here's to those who want to transcend the differences. To those wanderers, both the post-modern and the modern, both the house churched and the congregational, both the denominational and the non-denominational ... here's to the fellow Christ followers interested in the journey and the dream.