Saturday, November 05, 2005

Revolution in Ecclesiology - A "Both/And" Solution

Both John at Blogotional and David at Jollyblogger are talking "church".

David is resonding to Barna's new book "Revolution". I myself consider myself a revolutionary but also not. i am a both/and guy. The revolutionary idea is that the institutional church isn't "doing church" and isn;t being the church. So we (emergent folk) are going to leave the church and start a new community where we can set our own sprirutal DNA. For the record, I am against this path. First and foremost such a path is divisive. We do not need another sect of Christianity. Instead, we need to be mature and find solutions to our family problems. This leaving and finding another community is no better than divorcing our wives and finding a new "model".

The Church and "Doing Church"
There is a difference between "the church" (ekklesia) and "doing church". Here is the way I think it works. The church is the institution. Such an institution has elders and government and authority and oversight. We are required to be in the church just like David Wayne is saying (see this post). "Doing church" is the charismatic experience of all coming with gifts and bringing them to the assembly.

The word "ekklesia", to be called out, is actually never used in the verb form in the bible. Instead, for "doing church" the biblical writers use the term assembly. Here is the problem "doing church" (i.e. assembly) is only one function of the church. We can "do church" (assembly in small groups and as a family etc.), but that is not the church. The answer then is to be part of the church with its authority and covenant and also personally "do church" daily or regularly. This is a both/and answer to the problem. I am a revolutionary (I like to do church daily etc) but I am also under the authority of a council and am accountable to the church.

Being the Church
"Being the church" is being the new society. The institutions of church (the sunday meeting/larger congregational meeting) is not stopping anyone from "being the church" in the regular settings of life like small groups and family. Nonetheless, us radicals need to remain faithful to the institution and remain accountable to the larger body both with respect to doctrine and righteousness.

God Bless,

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