Friday, May 28, 2010

What sort of church is needed?

I speak much with the unchurched--the poor on the street as well as intellectuals and people who say they are atheists, etc. "It's just politics," some say. They speak of hypocrisy, the empty form, rigidity, judgmentalism, lack of perception, etc. Where can I recommend they go? Where will they be fed? Where will they be welcome? There are churches with enthusiasm which reach out, but often these churches are narrow in theological focus. What sort of church is needed? What kind of church would I like to go to?

(1) A church where there is open exploration and freedom of discussion and dialogue.

(2) A church where truth may be accepted from every quarter.

(3) A church sensitive to the varied cultural and religious backgrounds of the people--or no religion.

(4) A church caring for the needs of the poor, the widow the stranger, the fatherless--for "this is pure religion and undefiled."

(5) A church loving God and His kingdom with passion--for nothing is accomplished without passion.

(6) A church where the Spirit of the Living God has liberty to move. Spontaneity and flexibility are characteristic of the Spirit. The liberty of the Spirit will correct the things which are wrong.

(7) A church where Jesus is the The of the church. "Let this mind be in you which is in Christ Jesus." What does Jesus want? He said, "If I be lifted up I will draw all people to me."

(8) A church of faith that demonstrates healing and answered prayer.

(9) A church with an understanding of the Bible and the Holy Spirit. See a post below--The Presence of the Holy Spirit.

Others may have additional thoughts and insights.