In recent weeks I have been writing some articles related to church life that I’m sure have been considered polarising by many. I am thankful for feedback from all sides of the camp; from organised church to organic church; from institutional church to emerging church. Some of the feedback has been very positive; some quite heated in opposition to the concepts I put forward. And while these articles may have indeed been polarising, at least they have had the desired effect: dialogue.
More than to create dialogue and to provoke thought, these articles were ultimately intended to make a point and Peter Christensen’s excellent prophetic word for 2006 published a couple of weeks ago on the Storm Harvest list has partly confirmed the point I am leading to.
For a couple of years at the end of the 1990’s, Graham Cooke was one of my mentors. In fact, he and I would go as far as to agree that for a time he was my father in the prophetic. Graham is known for the profound depth in his teaching and, one of the more profound things he taught me privately was the simplicity of Jesus’ teaching. Bob Mumford used to joke that Jesus presented simple truth, but that you could always count on a seminary trained teacher to stuff it up by making it complex. Well, Graham taught me that “.. when everything gets complicated, remember that Jesus was a master at making things simple.” Think about it .. in the complexity of the Judaic religious system, riddled with more man-made tradition than God-inspired commandments, Jesus said that, like the first two commandments, all of life comes down to these two things: “love God with everything you’ve got and love people in just the same way.”
This is truly the point of this last series of articles .. church has become too complicated and God is extremely concerned that we “dumb it down”!