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'Church' - 'Christian' - the baggage

3 March, 2003 2:39 PM

Just had a stimulating conversation with a fellow Living Roomie about what we are doing. As per usual we covered every topic under the sun including the struggle that we both have with the name 'Church'. As we sat in our local cafe we asked ourselves the question - 'what barriers (cultural or otherwise) would a local community of Christians have in mission in our context?'

One of the big ones is the name 'Church' or even the name 'Christian'.

In the inner city suburb where I live the attitude of the average person towards the Church is not very positive. So much baggage is attached to the words 'Church' and 'Christian'. Do we put ourselves behind the eight ball by even using the terminology?

If I were to put a sign up on the wall of our cafe (which is covered with such notices) advertising a new community/co-operative focused upon the growing of organic vegetables, eating together, exploring spirituality and sharing a common life I'm almost certain that we'd receive calls and visitors within hours! (we live in a pretty alternative part of the city) However if I was to put up a notice advertising a new Christian Community or Church who was going to do the same things - I doubt the notice would still be on the wall at the end of the day!

So how do we respond? Do we remove the word Church from our vocab, do we attempt to find words with less baggage? Do we soldier on and forget the cultural barrier - letting our actions debunk the baggage that people have? Do we continue to use the words but try to explain our terminology every time we use it? Are their other alternatives?

Its an interesting conversation, interested in others thoughts...

Comments

Page:

I think it is a great shame when it gets to such a point that the flow of love is so restricted by sertain words that we use.
Becouse there are so many churches in life my son is a church Iam a church the earth is a church were there are 2 or more gathered in christs name we, you are in church and jesus is love. love is a many mastyrious face sometimes scary but never the less love is all things to all men.
The funny thing when christ was on earth, there were how many chuches,
but when he shared his word he was out in the great out doors with the people in the moment of the holly spirit he even feed them with abundence,mentally ,spiritually ,and physically it was never complicated by trying to capture the most politically corect words at the right time in the right place I think this is one of the greatest things that love has to offer intamancy and freedom.
So next time you are helping someone in the street that has droped there shoping be happy becouse there you are in church before your loving father and there they are with you and you didnt even have to mention church ,god ,jesus ,or that dreded word religion.
God is Love and can you belive we have the abillity to manfest love

scott » 3 January, 2004 10:31 PM

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