Thursday, October 20, 2005

boundary markers

I've been a bit naughty today. Today should have been the day that I start my assignment. Today was actually the day that I didn't do it. Thankfully Thursdays still exist, so I will be concentrating on it tomorrow.

Managed to read a bit more of the book 'Life you've always wanted'. There's a part that I can particularly resonate with, that talks about 'boundary markers'. These are basically ancient 'traditions' that we as a church seem to put up in order to make sure we are different to everyone else. This is not a positive thing. It's about us being 'in' and others being 'out' also eg... If a pastor was so full of pride and self-centredness inside, but was still preaching to increasingly growing numbers, then we probably wouldn't bat an eyelid too much. If though, he was seen smoking, then there would be an uproar. No one would say that it was more evil to smoke then to be full of pride, but it's been so ingrained into us that smoking is wrong for a christian to 'do' that we would probably rant about it more so than what is the more destructive sin.. (this is a hypothetical situation by the way).

I think about the Salvation Army and it's boundary markers. Our uniforms to distinguish us from the '2nd class' attendees to our corps and even to give us an 'identity' amongst other churches. The musical sections that won't let 'outsiders' in because it's 'always been this way'. The religious jargon that is used every sunday, that means total newcomers go away leaving perplexed. Why are we so obssessed with wanting to be so different from everyone else? This isn't being in the world but not of it, this is more like 'let's create our own little world in which we can be 'gods' of and no one else can join'.

That is not the Kingdom of God at work. This is a challenge that I, and the Church face. So what are we going to do about it?

1 comment:

God Loving Physio said...

Just a little sidetrack (sorry)to do with pastors. You are saying how people can get into uproar when Christians do things we don't expect. I personally think that we forget that pastors are human too. In our minds, we think they are better than ourselves because they lead the Church (well it's what i have picked up on anyway). But they are very human, they make mistakes, they upset people. I know this very clearly, having lived with a Vicar all my life. At home, they are just flawed human beings like us. Don;t get me wrong, they def can help us loads and lead really well on God's behalf. I only mean don't forget they can get things wrong too sometimes