How movements decompose

September 17, 2008

church / culture / emerging church / pentecostal / charismatic / politics / spirituality / theology

Recently, I wrote a brief post that relayed some of the pain I believe we should feel at the current state of much of American Evangelicalism.

In light of this, I am interested in looking into why this happens to movements in the church, including but not limited to Evangelicalism. Part of this is brought about by my experiences reading Jesus for President and another book I read in college, and part of it dates back to a sermon I heard when I was in high school.

In this sermon, a guy who, when asked what his title was, replied with “Brian”, spoke about the trend of movements to “move” to a certain place, and then stop moving and resist further change. If you are inclined to see this kind of thing, it is present in various ways in every major movement that has happened in the history of the church. In the words of the sermon, if we as Christians during most of church history were following Jesus around, we would build churches at the sites where he performed miracles instead of continuing to follow him and see what he might do next. Logically of course, this would keep us from seeing both the Cross and the Resurrection, among other things.

Over the years that concept has stayed in my head as I have developed my own ways of looking at the church, and I think there is great power in it. As our movements stop moving, they die and decompose.

The reason that I mention the books that I do above is that I think there are many manifestations of this concept, and they are not usually looked at together. Over the next few posts, I want to look at some of these, and will link to the posts as they appear.