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This morning I started another book (Quitting Church, Julia Duin) and I’m already through the first six chapters of it. For such a thick and emotionally sparking topic, I’m making my way through it pretty quickly – mainly because I can associate with the author’s memes, and the perspectives of those interviewed and quoted throughout.

As I’m reading, I’m reminded of a part of the conversation I had yesterday with one of the guys I disciple/mentor. Within the conversation, he remarked on just how he enjoyed the fellowship, and that the push to admonish one another Scripturally (we just wrapped up an in-depth conversation over the book of Titus) has been good for him. He even went so far to mention that he thinks I should write a book on the tactics that I’ve employed. Of the latter, I’ll get there, but just as much as Quitting Church points out, its that relevant, individualized, and consistent admonishment to living this faith that’s been so missing for others.

I admit that I’m both purveyor of an answer and a victim here. I left the church that I was attending because of items addressed in the chapters I’ve read: lack of meaty teaching, disengaged community life, singleness described as an anchor – used as a side note, etc. I also left because of guys like the one I described above: men who want to be engaged by the faith that makes up the very culture around them have little in the way given in terms of meaty, Scriptual (content and context), and upfront leading. It was hard to leave, and facing the weekly plumes of my own arrogance (diminishing) and humility (hopefully increasing), I’m challenged in this reading to revive some of what I’d left.

Without giving a summary of a book that I’ve finished, I can probably say that the previous paragraph is pretty much what this book is about. It’s a question of what has happened, what continues to happen, and possibilities towards addressing a real revival, not just an increase in publicity, social justice initiatives, or populations.

By a real revival, I mean that Spirit-embeded push to locally and globally interact with people in manners that ends with God being glorified and people coming to a conclusion to the problems that effect their real lives, not just the applied lives of agricultural economies and militaristic kingdoms.

There’s a statement on one of my whiteboards that seems appropriate: “[do/live] mobile as an activity of worship; transform into something else.” It’s based off of a deep conviction that I have towards any technology, and Romans 12:2. Much like Duin and those she interviewed, I see the things that I do in this live having a transformative nature that life in Christ explains, and that local fellowships should cultivate. When there’s a conflict in these, or the soil that has been cultivating you has worn out, we seek reconciliation through life, and a hope for revival.

At least, that’s what it seems from the perspective of a this reader’s lens. I do wonder what else this book will reveal about me to myself before I’m finished reading it. Seems like I’m back at a place where transformation is about to happen again.

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3 thoughts on “Rekindling, Reading, Revealing

  1. Julia Duin in her book, “Quitting Church” never interviewed any pastors to question them about issues that Christians today thoroughly reject, but at one time were held and taught to be true.

    I can think of two such issues that should have been addressed. Paul told Christians to obey the civil authorities and for slaves to obey their masters, even unjust and harsh ones. Slavery was not considered an evil in the new testament. Jesus also said to pay your taxes – render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, etc.

    Christians have thoroughly rejected these teachings. The Colonies rebelled against the British – no taxation without representation. Slavery was common in the south. It was supported by major Christian denominations. It took the Civil War to end this evil practice.

    Christians today believe we have the God given unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. These rights are not in the new testament. The new testament is all about obedience and being content.

    The Christian churches today still cling to the biblical view of women – which is similar to a type of slavery (keep quiet; obey your husbands). The Christian churches also create alot of psychological stress in their treatment of singles.

    I wish Julia Duin interviewed pastors and had them explain how they could have been so wrong on the above issues while claiming to be correct on many issues (mentioned in her book) which are causing Christians to quit church.

  2. On the opinions from pastors, it would have been interesting to hear. Such is something I ask of many here, and the answers are… revealing. Will keep an eye out for a few other points you’ve raised. Thanks for the comment.

  3. I can think of two such issues that should have been addressed. Paul told Christians to obey the civil authorities and for slaves to obey their masters, even unjust and harsh ones. Slavery was not considered an evil in the new testament. Jesus also said to pay your taxes – render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, etc.
    +1

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