Thursday, 19 May 2011

Is it possible to just not 'fit in' to church?

Is there a type for disciples of Jesus?  That's a good question; Do you have to dress a certain way, or react a certain way, or think a certain way?  Do you have to have a certain education or use certain words?  Does it come with a long list of do’s and don’ts?  Do all Christians eventually become like one another?  Is it a monoculture?  An in or out kind of thing?  And if not why do so many churches seem like that?

They are good questions for us to be asking, do our churches, where disciples gather have a monoculture aspect to them or do the reflect the glorious difference of those who have realised Jesus has the words of eternal life?  Jesus disciples reflect that difference; poor, rich, religious, non religious, privileged, un-privileged, educated, less educated, socially acceptable, socially unacceptable.  So do the early churches - just think about Philippi; a jailer, a liberated former demoniac, and Lydia a wealthy former god-fearer.  It is a stunning snapshot of a multi-cultural, multi-background church.
We must not confuse discipleship with our traditions culture or we make the gospel too narrow.  Growing in godliness will look different for different people from different starting points and who grow at different rates.
I'm just beginning to think this through in terms of discipleship and believing communities and what it means for how we engage with one another.

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