Monday, September 23, 2013

Methinks Monday: The Ethonocentric Church

The archaic-sounding verb methinks, meaning it seems to me...seemed a cute way to share some serious stuff I've been pondering. A little levity with the gravity!

Methinks ethnocentrism is a word that needs added to the church's vocabulary and understanding.
I've recently learned that it is central to why "doing church another way" is such a hot spot issue;  why it causes so much tension and disharmony.   

Ethnocentrism is judging another culture solely by the values and standards of one's own culture.

For example...  It's not just that I'm comfortable with hymns or like their deep Theology, etc.  It's that they are the best way and ONLY way that music in church should be done.  This goes on and how we school our kids, dress in church, what version of the Bible we use, etc.  We can see that different churches have different ways of doing things but OUR church's way of doing it is the truly Godly and Biblical way...and may heaven help you if you disagree or find another way more effective.  We forget that the church is MUCH bigger than our little (or big) meeting place and that it is the WORLD Christ came to save.

Methinks doors of discussion can be effectively shut forever. 

As Ravi Zacharias has said for years, "Let my people THINK!"  If we have determined that certain things are bad (or not best) then we stop thinking.  Culturally different things are condemned and time is no longer spent thinking or discerning real world issues.  Well, other than to condemn them as bad and going to "hell in a hand basket."  Fear-mongering and thinking are not the same thing.  Then, quite soon, we forget we share the HOPE of the nations.  When bad things happen we have no answers other than judgement of "that's what they all deserve"...or my least favorite cop out, "God is coming back soon.  Look at those signs of evil!"  No compassion.  No grace.

Methinks we aren't just DOING church, we ARE the church. 
Because Christ makes His bride pure...and it's all the power of his blood...I'm guessing he can deal with all sorts of ethnic diversity in methods and such.  Incidentally, I think He probably enjoys the praise of His name in every way imaginable.  I'm sure it grieves Him that Satan uses such issues to divide and can so quickly induce us into being mean where we could be gracious.

Ravi's line makes me think of,  "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land."  2 Chronicles 7:14. 

Methinks we need to live with revival in our hearts.

And a desire that God build His Kingdom...through us!  NOT a desire to build our Utopian fortress's walls higher...but to be IN the world, and not of it.  To GLOW IN THE DARK...not hide in Pharisaical light. We need God to move, but we also need to move!!  His Kingdom starts in our hearts...

Foreshadowing for tomorrow's Tune Tuesday... The prayer of my heart...

Oh Heavenly Father,
Build Your kingdom here 
Let the darkness fear 
Show Your mighty hand 
Heal our streets and land  
Set Your church on fire  
Win this nation back  
Change the atmosphere  
Build Your kingdom here  
We pray

1 comment:

Nonnie said...

"We forget that the church is MUCH bigger than our little (or big) meeting place and that it is the WORLD Christ came to save."

I'm with you. We need to keep the main thing the main thing. It's not about us.