Will God ever get it right?
“...man has messed up everything he has ever touched. I don't have to spend any time what so ever trying to qualify that statement. Anyone who is in the least bit acquainted with history would have to agree. Put simply, God gives us a garden with a perfect atmosphere and the next thing we know we are earning our keep by the sweat of our brow and so forth and so on.”
The title may seem brazen, but it does somewhat depict howI have been feeling lately. Then comes along Frank Viola's articeentitled, "Will the Emerging Church Fully Emerge?" Sufficeit to say, those of us who find solace within the ranks of the EmergentChurch need not get too cocky any time soon.
Anyone who has ever read much of my writings will know thatI am usually rather verbose. But, I don't feel like it this morning.Fact is, and I have said this often in conversation with friends andfamily, if I was God, I would have never entrusted the "Gospel"to man. I simply would have found a better way.
My reasoning for this is simple: man has messed up everythinghe has ever touched. I don't have to spend any time what so ever tryingto qualify that statement. Anyone who is in the least bit aquaintedwith history would have to agree. Put simply, God gives us a gardenwith a perfect atmosphere and the next thing we know we are earningour keep by the sweat of our brow and so forth and so on.
Why, then, would God take the message of the only perfectman to ever live, and entrust it to the very man who messed thingsup to begin with? And what a mess we have made of that too...orhave we?
Now, I know that I am sounding like a schizophrenic withoutmeds here, but amid this brazen attitude, a clarity seems to be emerging.
Due to a good number of prolific writers, we are aware thatvirtualy every bonafide movement of God in history, beyond the cross,has been deficient in some manner. Many of these deficiencies haveultimately lead to their demise. The demise of one has often leadthe way to another. And so on and so on.
I mean, what we have seen throughout history is nothing new.I mean, we didn't even make it out of the Apostolic age without difficulty.
Perhaps, the reason why this is, is related to the wholetower of babal issue.1 We have always looked at Church fragmentation as a bad thing,but think about what we would do if one move really had it all? IFMethodism was the whole answer or Emergent Church had it all? We'dbuild our towers and God only knows what the human ego would construct.
Each movement has had its God component and it man component.This diversity is as old as the incarnation. Christ was both God andman. This speaks of diversity and premium upon which God places uponsuch.
I coming to see why God did what he did when he entrustedthe Gospel message into the hands of men. Those rejected by Paul canfind comfort and solace in Barnabus.2 God knew all along that we would take certain aspects ofHis revelation and fragment. But, just as the confusion at Babel wasnot a bad thing, I am not sure this fragmentation is a bad thing.
Paul, in his writings, left us a great example in terms ofhow we are to be an ambassador of Christ in the world. In 1 Corinthians9:19-23:
For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servantunto all, that I might gain the more. And unto the Jews I became asa Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law,as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; Tothem that are without law, as without law, (being not without lawto God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them thatare without law. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain theweak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means savesome. And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partakerthereof with you.3
As a minister who has often pointed toward the fragmentationof the Church as being a bad thing, I am not so sure now that I wasspeaking from a logical perspective. There are some people who aretotally and comepletely ministered too by today's Methodist Church.I know many who are genuine disciples of Christ that follow Him moreclosely than allot of others I know.
Point being, as a Pentecostal preacher, years ago, I wouldhave seen that as somewhat of an impossibility. I mean, we had the"fullness of the gospel." Not to mention that theydid not even believe in speaking in tongues.
Get the point? I mean, in ministering to this world whereinthere is a multitude of complex people, it takes many different expressionsof the genuine faith.
And before, I get called names, I am referring to genuineexpressions of faith. Not non Chirstian or neo-christian expression...orsome far out group that believes that Christ is a prophet or the brotherof Satan. I am talking about genuine expressions of the Christianfaith.
I am going to end this discussion rather than trying to findnew ways to kick the same horse. Perhaps the title should be changedto when will man get it right. But, for now, and maybe for its shockvalue, I will leave it as is.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
C. M. Keel, Sr http://www.clubemerge.com