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Fluffy Faith?

11 December, 2003 11:36 AM

I'm sad today. Not because of anything that has happened on a personal level - but because of circumstances and situations that I have heard about in the past 12 hours from friends.

- People who should know better doing stupid things.
- Leaders compromising beliefs through actions.
- Repercussions of poor decisions and actions rippling out through the lives of so many.
- Communities and families being broken apart when they need not be.

I'm surprised by the depth of what I feel about a situation so far removed from my own context. I'm angered by the selfishness of people I've never met, I'm reminded of the brokenness of humanity, I'm saddened as I think about the grief others must be feeling and I'm challenged to consider my own relationships and community.

Whilst I do not know of the specific details of this situation - I'm also left wondering about discipleship again. So often faith is allowed to be fluffy, shallow and infantile. I'm not just talking about new Christians - but especially about those who have been 'disciples' for many seasons. Without strong and growing foundations when the pressure of life mounts its so easy for things to crumble.

My concern is that when Churches are allowed to be shallow and fluffy environments that the crumbling of one key person can actually cause the collapse of many. Its very sad stuff - your prayers would be valued on this one for all involved.



I hear you....it breaks my heart too. A church that doesn't disciple isn't church--it's a club, a concert, a show.

Karl Thienes » 11 December, 2003 1:59 PM

Only disciples can make disciples. I am fairly convinced we have messed around with other priorities for the last ????? years and now we reap the fruit of that. Its a challenge for me - if I want to make disciples then what I am living like...because that will be the model - even though we say it should be Jesus.

hamo » 11 December, 2003 6:57 PM

I completly agree with Karl, I can't tell you how many times I have heard someone say "Don't judge me", as a Christian that statement should never be used, Critisism, suggestions, loving words of advice (asuming its all given in a gentle manner, which does not condem the person) should always be used as an oppurtunity for a person to grow and listen and become more intimate witht the Kingdom.

TravisM » 11 December, 2003 8:53 PM


i agree... BUT i think people saying "don't judge me" are often people who have been run over by the church in some way and are reacting because of the way the church has hurt them. everything should be done in love with gentleness and kindness. unfortunately that isn't true in a lot of churches. i've been there. i've experienced it. and i'm tempted to say the same thing. be sensitive to those people and their past.

at the same time i totally agree about how important (and lacking) real discipleship is.

lucas » 12 December, 2003 4:31 AM

I wonder... I wonder if part of the problem isn't that we put so much emphasis on "conversion". We make conversion the defining moment of one's life and then just assume that at that very moment, you shoot up 300 feet on the ladder to righteousness. We make assumptions about where people "should" be in their faith. And, so we can keep smiling at one another, we pretend we're all sitting pretty on our ivory pedestals.

I think it's an especially big problem for children growing up in evangelical circles. If you make a commitment at 12 years of age and are a model youth group student, it's assumed you are a spiritually wise person by the time you graduate. The problem, though, is that most of these kids have learned what the adults in their lives want to hear, but simply don't have the life experiences to put it into practice in any real sense.

Really. What does conversion mean at 12 years of age when your entire social life is wrapped up in church, the only other people you know are in church, and "making a decision" is going to gain you the respect and affirmation of every adult you know - especially your parents? I'm not discounting that God can work through children. He absolutely can! But we need to stop assuming that just because a person recited a certain prayer or allowed themselves to be dunked in the liturgical hot tub, they automagically assumed a certain level of maturity.

kevin » 12 December, 2003 5:17 AM

I think the secular corporate west has stolen the idea pretty well. What's network marketing? It's discipleship! the Christians are falling behind now.

Susan » 12 December, 2003 6:02 PM

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