Friday, October 13, 2006

Please read Being the body before responding to this post. These are not the only questions these chapters rase but I thought they would get the conversation started. Please feel free to answer any of them, or skip them all. And please add your own questions...

How has the misconception that the church is a buliding hurt us?

How can we help people, believers and missing people, turn this arround and view the church as the body of Christ?

How do you feel about the statement "Paradise is not achieved by anything we can do-Spiritually, politically, or otherwise- But by the gift of God."

What is your gut reaction to the fact that that nearly 50 Percent of highly commited evangelical Protestants agreed with the statement that many religions can lead to eternal Life?

How do feel about what the Barna polls that show 41 percent of church goers said their congregations did nothing over the prior twelve months to adress issues raised by the 9-11 attacks?

What is our responsibility here?

How has the reign of individualism effected the church? How has it effected your personal faith?

Why do we (North Americans) act more like consumers and less like commited Disciples ? What can we do about that?

What do you think of the prison story?


Michael McGlynn said...

Damn you Tom! This is just waht I didn't need. Actually, it is what I needed. Having cried through most of the prologue - underlined furiously in the following chapters - and crying again with the story of Bruce Wilkinson in the Delaware prison - I am convicted that we stand in a directionless body whose concept of the church is carefully wraped in the ribbons of individualism and decorated with the bows of consumerism.
I am broken hearted for the church in this country. We have lost our way, our voice, and our purpose. Why would anyone come to the church (people not building)for any type of help let alone direction for their lives. The people who come to the church in need are looking for a monetry handout with no strings attached.
With that as my vitriolic backdrop, my question is this...Is this the right format for this discussion?
pg 19 - "Rather than connecting with one another in civic groups, volunteer organizations, churches, and synagogues, many americans sat alone at their PCs made accessing the endless playground of the Internet and chatting online with faceless strangers using made-up names."
Tom Your questions are great starting points I want to answer them all. However, I think we need to answer this one first.

Tom Batterson said...

I strongly agree with your observations... However I find myself having to argue the other side of the coin on some of the issues. Because I started this blog, and b/c I still believe it's the best way to start the discussion.
I could start off with an explanation of how it (the discussion) would be better served b/c people from a broad geographical and social spectrum can participate with ease. Thus allowing better participation from the church universal.
We could discuss, at length, the benefits of a join and participate at your own pace conversation that this blog provides. But all of these arguments kinda fall short in light of the lack of face to face conversations.
So let me start by giving an illustration that on of my mentors used to teach me about time management and prioritizing.
Human beings are symmetrical bipeds… That’s a fancy way of saying we have two hands and two feet. As such we can usually only carry two things at a time. Sometimes we try to take on a third, witch while awkward we usually can handle for awhile. But if we want to pick something else up, we must drop one of the things we are caring. This is just the way we have been designed…
I feel like with working full time and caring for a growing family my time is already at a premium. I can’t imagine taking time away from actually being the body to plan/have another meeting about being the body.
That being said… I hope the discussion doesn’t end here. If all we do is blog about the book then we have failed. We need to see this blog as a tool that allows us to communicate our ideas and explore the next steps we need to take to change our world.
The discussion should start here, but this cannot be the end of it.

As for the rest of your comments… Amen brother. Now lets find/explore ways to reverse these trends. Let’s do smoothing to stop the bleeding. Let’s start an insurrection in the western church… Let’s shine the bright light of Christ into the dark corners of western culture…
Let’s be the body!

Matt Kurtz said...

Wow, I am not really sure where to begin. So let me just start out by saying that I appreciate both of your comments concerning the issue.
Here is where I stand. I feel that this is a very good outlet to start this discussion and get the ball rolling. However I am in a slight quandary within myself. I also feel that we have been doing nothing but talking and sitting, and doing nothing while we could be doing something for the kingdom. So in light of this revelation, I feel we need to find a balance between the two. We need to give time to studying and discussing the Bible and issues in our lives and church body, but we also need to get off our fat couch potato butts and get about doing the work that Jesus intended for us to do in this life. It is high time we actually become the "hands and feet" of God in our culture. It can't be about what we can get out of church and a "what's in it for me" attitude anymore. Jesus said himself, "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."(Mark 10:45)
So in light of this statement of Christ and this one from Paul, "I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death", I have come to the conclusion that I want NOTHING LESS than to be a living and breathing example of Christ on earth. I want my life to reflect his face and his glory more and more each day.

For too long we have been asleep and apathetic in our day!! Now is the time to stand up and fight for what we believe in!!! Let me leave you with some of my favorite lyrics from the band Staple;
"Charge the gates, ye proud and strong- are we not invincible? These are the lives we own, we rule and rule alone. Is this the night we asked for? We're all the things we swore that we would never be...basking in our apathy.
-Institution revolution. Raze this ground, fight for your life (with vengeance tonight). Taken by forceful intrusion, we will live before we die.
Is now not the time to raise our fists in defiance of this night that steals our dreams, of all that we once hoped that we'd achieve? Fight with fists afire and watch this city burn down. Tonight we show the day the day the light our passion can create."