17 June 2008

distance running

I had to pause and wonder today: Why is it that the closer I come to God the further I am to the church?

My first question on this: Is this possible?  Can we participate in God without having a connection to his Spirit-community?  In a very clear sense, the answer is that we cannot.  The people of God are the necessary and established presence of Christ in the world, as the Spirit works through their kingdom-building efforts.  So I wonder how bad this is for my spiritual health that I feel close to God but far from his earthly kingdom presence.

On the other hand, the people of God do not always exhibit godliness.  This makes me think that the church(es) from which I feel most distanced are not aligned with Yhwh in the first place.  This means that moving away from the church is not necessarily a bad thing, when the church and the kingdom are juxtaposed in their mission.  So perhaps this is my dilemma.

But the more I try and find a place for myself within the organized people of God, the more I lose my passion for working in the church.  Fundamentally, I am fed up with an overly blessed people who are overly apathetic in their practice of faith.  And too often the answers are to impose more leadership and more structures and theories over a passionate pursuit of knowing Christ and being led by the Spirit to change the world.  While leadership structuring certainly has a place, it is not until we can have the fire of the Spirit upon us that they can have a chance of working.  Otherwise we have social gatherings but no experience of the Spirit.

The bad news of my situation: distancing myself from the church possibly jeopardizes my connection with the full experience of God's Spirit.  It also means a radical undoing of my way of life and for my family.

The good news of my situation: if my life must be undone and reduced to ruin, I would choose to have Yhwh ruin it than the church.  On this, I make my decision.

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