Strange title? Maybe… or maybe not!
I was reading in a small men’s (men of all sizes actually) S.O.A.P bible study this morning Romans 8: 1-17. I recently purchased this amazing parallel bible that gives me the NIV on the left hand and the message paraphrase on the right of the same verses.
I have always loved this passage because of the freedom in the spirit of Christ that it reveals. However, some new words and thoughts occurred to me this morning as we read it together.
The first part is a great contrast between choosing to “live in” the Spirit or “live in” the desires of the flesh. It then quickly sets us free that we are not “controlled by” by the flesh if we have the Spirit within us. However verses 12 – 15 jumped out at me today as I looked at both the NIV version and the Message paraphrase.
CD Riegel mit A 380 Lufthansa Maschinen und Vorfeldkontrolle
I heard an amazing talk on “Missional Leadership” this past week by Reggie McNeal. He made a comparison on the church and an airport and that we sometimes get confused on the goal.
If an airport gets confused on its role and goals – it might begin to think that the Airport – is the destination. If all the planes are on the ground and the concourse is full of people all gathered in one place – then the airport has lost its goal! What is the airport’s goal you ask??? Great question!
The church sometimes gets confused in its goals as well. We tend to start looking like an airport with all the cars in the parking lot, buildings and programs full, and people gathering in one location (and counted!!!). We’ve missed it. What is the goal? Also… Great question!
So, I’ve been praying about the future and about churches in general. I am doing some study on John 4 right now and it has taken me back to when Jesus quotes Isaiah and says “these people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of RULES TAUGHT BY MEN!” (caps added by me)
The woman at the well was also caught up in what religious practices where supposed to look like (we worship on the mountain, you worship in the temple…) As I pray about what a future church looks like I am feeling more and more trapped by the RULES I’ve been taught about what church is supposed to look like. I mean, what we see on Sunday’s is not exactly taught in scripture, and what’s even more perplexing is that we even argue among believers which RULES are better. Traditional, Contemporary :: Reverent, Relaxed :: Deductive, Inductive. The more I prepare my heart for the future, the more I see the trappings of the RULES I’ve been taught by men.