April 4, 2003, 2:17 pm
Filed under: uncategorized

Yesterday’s meeting was encouraging in some ways. The whole thing about planting a church within my denomination is still a cloudy issue for me. On the pro side, I want to honor the relationships and resources that God has made available to me via the denom. Finding the kind of financial and relational support for a new work will be much easier with them than if I just launched out on my own. Also, the denom (for all of its unnecessary hierarchy) is a powerful force for global outreach in missions, church planting, and humanitarian relief (they were on the ground in Jordan with relief for Iraqi refugees the day after the war began).

On the con side, I have to tell the truth that my denom has an ugly history of racism, chauvanism, political power plays, legalism, greed, gay bashing, and coercive efforts and conformity (shall I go on?). I know that I have the potential of helping the denom turn a corner in a better direction, but I don’t really have any interest in spending my own time and energy trying to revitalize an institution that will just have to be revitalized again in another 50 years (30? 10? 2?). Thankfully, the denom wouldn’t force me to publicly identify as being a part of them (i.e. church name, etc.). I’m not so worried about the necessary jumping through hoops if I received denominational support – it seems reasonable to me that there be some accountability there.

I am beginning to feel better about all this stuff, though. The guy I’m working with has been very helpful and encouraging. He identifies with me in most of my dissent toward the denom. Better yet, he’s well connected with the people in the denom who are doing the most dangerous and risky emerging church kind of stuff. I’ll keep praying and walking this out.


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