Thursday, January 11, 2007

Intimacy Evasion

I spent the last few days in Tennessee on retreat, consulting with a wonderful church community from North Carolina. Deeply touched by the remarkable levels of transparency and honesty in this deeply committed group of believers, I was reminded of how rare this kind of community is across the church world. It seems to me that most of our churches are so constructed as to avoid any form of real intimacy (with God or community). Clyde Reid wrote a marvelous commentary on the state of the church, a while back, in which he comments that: "...we structure our churches and maintain them so as to shield us from God and to protect us from genuine religious experience."

Reid continues with incisive insight: "...the adult members of churches today rarely raise serious religious questions for fear of revealing their doubts of being thought of as strange. There is an implicit conspiracy of silence or religious matters in churches. This conspiracy covers up the fact that the churches do not change lives or influence conduct to any appreciable degree." I am increasingly concerned that churches and ministries mainly aim to produce consumers that will merely purchase their products and support their endeavours and thus we have not heeded the Gospel call to make disciples. Make we rediscover the true purpose and promise of community.
Further Reading:
Reid, C H 1966. The God Evaders. New York: Harper and Row.