Abductive Columns

Friday, October 01, 2004


Remember Joshua who sent out a couple of secret agents to spy out the land of Jericho. If we really desire to reach out to this culture we’re going to have to become like the spies Joshua sent out and boldly walk across borders familiar to us and engage the land God wants to give us.

It’s time we break out of our Christian circles, stop the busyness of church, and take a look at what is happening outside our faith communities.

“Go look over the land.” (Joshua 2:1)


At 4:47 AM, Blogger Ron Cole said...

From Reggie Mcneal's book, " The Present Future "
"The current church culture in North America is on life support. It is living off the work, money and energy of previous generations from a previous world order. The plug will be pulled when either the money runs out (80 percent of money given to congregations comes from people aged fifty-five and over) or when the remaining three-fourths of a generation who are institutional loyalists die off or both...

"The first Reformation was about freeing the church. The new Reformation is about freeing God's people from the chruch (the institution). The original Reformation decentralized the church. The new Reformation decentralizes ministry. The former Reformation occurred when clergy were no longer willing to take marching orders from the Pope. The current Reformation finds church members no longer willing for clergy to script their personal spiritual ministry journey. The last Reformation moved the church closer to home. The new Reformation is moving the church closer to the world. The historic Reformation distinguished Christians one from the other. The current Reformation is distinguishing followers of Jesus from religious people. The European Reformation assumed the church to be a part of the cultural-political order. The Reformation currently underway does not rely on the cultural-political order to prop up the church. The initial Reformation was about church. The new Reformation is about mission."

Reggie McNeal, The Present Future, pp.1 and 43.

We have our heads burried in sand if we think the church can survive in it's present condition. As depressing as the first paragraph is, there is a glimmer of hope...the Kingdom is here, he is with us...he is in us. And, He wants to expand His Kingdom.

From Eugene Peterson's " The Message "

Numbers 13 17 When Moses sent them off to scout out Canaan, he said, "Go up through the Negev and then into the hill country. 18Look the land over, see what it is like. Assess the people: Are they strong or weak? Are there few or many? 19Observe the land: Is it pleasant or harsh? Describe the towns where they live: Are they open camps or fortified with walls? 20And the soil: Is it fertile or barren? Are there forests? And try to bring back a sample of the produce that grows there--this is the season for the first ripe grapes."

Maybe, now is the time to leave our church culture clubs and enter the land...if the next refomation is about being missional. Sure it's going to be scary, there are going to be giants to overcome...we're going to see and hear things we don't understand...we're going to have to learn a new language.
But like the scouts Moses sent out, we need to go into our communities and look the land over...assess the people, try and understand them... see where there strengths and weaknesses are, how can we help them in their weaknessess and how can there strengths help us...what is the community environment like, is it pleasant or harsh...what is their culture like, how can we engage it...is the land barren or fertile, how much cultivation and work will be required for the Kingdom to take root.
I mean sure there will be reports come back, that the giants are too big, the communities too fortified to penetrate and that the land won't grow nothing. But surely there must be some Caleb's in the crowd who can see beyond the obstacles to that glimmer of hope on the horizon.
Their job will be tough in convincing the others to see the light on the horizon, that just like God being a pillar of fire by night and a cloud of smoke by day...that he is with us...in us...His spirit leading us.
If not, it is the scenario of the first paragraph and the scenario of the story of the entry into the promised land...God will let another generation die in the wilderness and at the same time raise up and prepare something new.


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