24 February 2009

of broken models, repeating ourselves, and the size of one's quilt

The model is broken. Because the word "the" is altogether human.

-Robert Lobkovich (from a comment on yesterday's post)

I thought this to be an interesting statement. The idea, as best I can tell, is that there is no one perfect model for anything. Each idea runs into its own circumstances and situations that require refining, re-inventing, and revision.

Yet, there is nothing new under the sun. Everything we are doing has been done before. So we are repeating ourselves in trying to find the right combination for the right circumstance.

We aren't trying to come up with a new uniqueness as much as we are trying to patch together a quilt of best (or most applicable) unique bits of the past as possible.

And that brings me back to the original idea. Which bits of the past are worth taking into the future? What aspects of the current model(s), if any, need to be cleaved and left by the side of the road? Or is a bigger quilt always better? And what of the current model would we call sacred if we had our choice?


  1. There is only one piece of the overall puzzle that we can safely cleave and take into the future, and that is the saving message of Christ. How we present that message will always have variations because we as human beings have variations.

    To often people practice the religion that justifies their lifestyle. They visit many churches until they find one that makes them comfortable. Grace Point is a good example. If you can’t handle being challenged on regular basis to personally participate in extending Christ’s ministry you’ll probably go somewhere else. You may get the same message of redemption elsewhere, but in a more sedentary setting that suites your personality.

    The only problem with not having a set of standards, as it were, on what message to give to the people, we can run the risk of sending mixed messages.

    I think what it comes down to is relying on the Word, and feeding people with that message. It won’t matter if you present it in a straight-forward Baptist sermon, or in a non denominational setting of contemporary music and interesting skits. The Word of God will filter through.

  2. Interesting, Bret.

    Do you ever wonder if our way of church serves to distract more than it draws people into the presence of God?

    Is there a line we cross where we are back to being religious?

  3. I wonder that all the time. The litmus is how we live our lives outside the church, when no one is looking.

  4. The unfortunate fact is that a body of believers can only get so big before it has to become religious. Schedules have to be set, policies have to be codified, in order to prevent chaos, in order to be effective in meeting needs of the members and others. Once you establish schedules and policies, it's possible for the individual to be religious and miss the substance.

    A smaller group can be more fluid and spontaneous, based soley on the word of God; maybe that's what life groups are supposed to be.

    At the core, Grace Point challenges its members and has programs that discourage complacency. This forces people to step up or move on. While I'd prefer that all would step up, this is ultimately good for the health of the body.

    Back in 2007, before I joined, I was studying Mathew in BSF. One of the biggest take-aways from the study for me was Jesus's fight against bad religion in his time. I still joined, so... I'd say my roots are too deep to make an objective assessment of the current state. Some things bother me if I think about them, like the light show on stage.