Monday, August 13, 2012

Prerequisite for Membership

"This series also serves as a prerequisite for membership at Mars Hill Church" –Mark Driscoll, Mars Hill Church, Seattle WA more

As I listen to the "Doctrine" podcasts, I bristle at the words: "prerequisite for membership" ... the idea that belonging requires anything more than a belief in Jesus as Savior. Is my heart holding too tightly to the inclusion of all?

I want to slam closed the guillotine gates of my heart and mind, re-immerse myself in the narrative theology and the teachings of Rob Bell, Shane Hipps, Marilyn Dancause, Steve Argue ... within Mars Hill, Grand Rapids MI.

Is my mind too wounded by my childhood indoctrination to embrace Driscoll's doctrinal approach to faith? Yes!

Case closed. Shut it off. Loose the link. No!

As difficult as this series is for me, I am listening. I am journeying into what I've often considered "enemy territory" and am surprised at what is happening: I am gathering words for expressing my own beliefs, doing my own exploration of the Bible, debriding some of those old doctrinal wounds. Months ago, I wrote a bit about being unhinged by words like secular, prejudice and righteousness. Today I add to my word un-list: doctrine, theology, membership.

After the statement about prerequisite for membership Mark Driscoll opens "Image: God Loves" with this prayer:
Father God, we come today thanking you for making us, male and female, in your image and likeness for relationship with one another and with you. As we study your word today, Lord God, it is our prayer that we would see Jesus as the perfect image-bearer, and that by the power of the Holy Spirit we would understand what the Scriptures have to say to us so that we might be like Jesus, in whose name we pray. Amen.
Leaving out my "unhinge-ing" words I am challenged to express what I Believe with a smaller and simpler vocabulary.  Am I up to the task?


We Believe

Thursday, August 9, 2012

What Color is Your Cape?

Hands down, the best summer blockbuster is The Avengers. My favorite Marvel character is Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man, especially when he is defying authority.

Little girl me watched the after-school-television Batman, so perhaps my childhood cape is one lined with shimmery gold.

My adult cape is much heavier, a recognition of my own idolatry of power, wealth and celebrity ... Matthew McConaughey on the cover of Esquire comes to mind.

I often bristle and quickly argue a theology of compassion and human dignity for 'my' half of humanity, the female half. And I am easily convicted. All of the truly great men I know do not look like the celebrities on the cover of Esquire. A camera, even in the hands of a highly skilled photographer, cannot capture what matters in the men and women I love: self-denial, sacrifice, death, resurrection, suffering and rising, living in Christ.

Often these days, the cape of the super hero feels more like the heavy wings carried by the Angel of Grief each person, each life, each story of death and redemption like a feather made of stone.

My dear friends, if you know people who have wandered off from God's truth, don't write them off. Go after them. Get them back and you will have rescued precious lives from destruction and prevented an epidemic of wandering away from God. James 5:19-20 MSG


Wonder Woman, Batgirl, Supergirl:
Angel of Grief at Wikkipedia: WWStoryRome