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These five practises that make Church harder are a good thing.

These five practises that make Church harder are a good thing.

We live in a culture where commitment is not normal. This is not news. The decline in commitment has been well documented.  Social researcher, Hugh Mackay, says that this current generation is…

“growing up in a world of ever-expanding choices, they have made a virtue of keeping their options open, and they have adopted “what else is there?” as their general catchcry. It’s a question that comes up whether the topic is a course of study, a job, a sexual partner, a musical genre, an outing, a set of religious or political beliefs, a fashion label, a food fad or a make of car.”

It is interesting that Mackay added religious beliefs to the list of things that people don’t want to commit to. One way we could respond to this trend would be to make it as easy as possible for people to say they are part of our churches.

There are five practises at my church, and many churches, that run directly counter to this temptation. Each one of these practises  demand a level of commitment that is increasingly counter-cultural.

The five practises are baptism, child dedication, communion, giving money and church membership. Other churches do some of these differently, but all churches have practises that demand commitment.

As a Pastor I often feel the temptation to make it easer for my people, but the more I am honest both about what the bible says and what my experience is, I know that reducing committment is not a path that ultimately makes life better.

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Because this humiliation is so hard we continually scheme to evade confessing to a brother.

Because this humiliation is so hard we continually scheme to evade confessing to a brother.

For the last time I will post some of my Auntie Anne’s notes from her reading of Life Together by Deitrich Bonhoeffer.

Todays reflection is a bit longer and again has language that is a bit out of date, but if you can take the time to read it, I hope you find it as helpful as I have.

Life Together is quite a short book and one I would recommend that anyone seriously interested in fellowship and community read.

Breakthrough to the Cross

In confession occurs the breakthrough to the Cross.  The root of all sin is pride…I want to be my own law. It is in his wickedness that a man wants to be as God.  Confession in the presence of a brother is the profoundest kind of humiliation. It hurts, it cuts a man down, it is a dreadful blow to pride. To stand there before a brother as a sinner is an ignominy that is almost unbearable. In the confession of concrete sins the old man dies a painful, shameful death before the eyes of a brother.  Because this humiliation is so hard we continually scheme to evade confessing to a brother. Our eyes are so blind that they don’t see the promise and the glory in such abasement.

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