It draws a 2-fold reaction from me, the first of which is honest sympathy. Does anyone not know that I'm pretty bent out of shape over the condition of the American church? For example, when Angus here says
I tried to explain that my question did not indicate that I believed the modern church was denying Christ, but that it had begun to make conscious choice the agent of change in the continuum of salvation. Thus, allowing man to control the way God encounters his people, essentially, turning him into a candy machine. Further, the subconscious emanations of a fallen and depraved race – such as we are – would begin to manifest themselves in a way that places the locus of control for any human to God /God to human interaction completely in human hands.I'm with him: he's right, even if I hate to use the word "locus" on a blog because most people will hit "NEXT BLOG" when they see such a thing.
He's right that the American church -- in all its Addams Family incarnations across denomination or the denial of the usefulness of the same -- has a problem becuase it denies the presence of God in things in a really subtle way.
And, given that he's in a megachurch setting (so it seems by his post), it's unlikely that he's going to lead a one-man reformation of that body. Right? Who would argue with that? If the church has a senior pastor and 17 "associates", and levels of teachers and assistants and blahblahblah under that, not likely that he's going to lead reformation and change the lives of those poor, lost souls who have placed the locus of control for any human-to-God/God-to-human interaction completely in human hands.
And yet, what exactly does that say about our blogospheric colleague Angus? You know: for example, does he belong to the church (in general, and to this church in particular) because it fits his (apparently-expanding and more-sanctified [no sarcasm there, OK?]) view of what the church ought to be, or does he belong to the church out of obedience and out of reverence for God? Hasn't Angus abandoned one mostly-bad way of thinking about church for another which is not really that much better -- which is the church shopper view of how we ought to fellowship as believers?
I don't think Angus has called these people heretics: he has only said, "not for me, thanks." But in that, he has done exactly what he is complaining about in the fashion of the contemporary church -- that is, instead of wearing the Tommy golf shirts and khakis which the church is advocating, or even the stuff at the Aeropostale church down the street, he's choosing the homeless chic waredrobe so many today see as what's right, given the cultural context. he hasn't given up being trendy: he's changed trends.
If the 8-letter word of internet anathema wasn't so ill-thought of, I'd say exactly what I thought about that. Isn't what's missing in the church today real faithfulness? How does one claim to exhibit real faithfulness by walking away?
If one is actually the one with the right Gospel-centered, Christocentric answer about what the church ought to be, I think -- IMO and all that -- that he has a responsibility to God to be an example to those who are taking the bus tour to luke-warm waters. Even if those people are his pastors and elders.
We can talk about how that works if anyone is interested, but people who go church shopping because they just realized that they have spent some time as a pew-sitter because of their realization that their pastor can't pick them out of a line-up, with all due respect, haven't changed their diet: they have only changed their meal schedule.