Sunday, 27 September 2020

Rethinking Faith and Church

Rethinking Faith and Church is Will's first blog and uses the image of an upside down church. Why? There are two main reasons Will chose that image.

First, it represents Will's wrestling in the faith since leaving the traditional institutional form of Christianity. This was a time in which he came to realize that something was amiss in Christianity as we've come to know it. This was a time in which Will found himself re-evaluating a lot of previously dearly held doctrines; some of which he ultimately discarded, while others he embraced all the more. It was a time when everything seemed upside down in his spiritual life, and a time where he went back to what he believed were the basics of the faith; essentially a de-institutionalizing of the church in his life. Having said that, Will does not seek to dwell on what's wrong with the church, nor is he angry towards it, but rather he seeks to learn to celebrate what's right with it and to encourage others to do likewise.

Secondly, this picture also represents his belief that sometimes it may be necessary to shake us all upside down a bit in order to dislodge us from our inherent lethargy and comfortable pews. This stems from Will's belief that maybe the church needs to "get out there" more than it typically does. Will often muses that perhaps we have all become a little too comfortable in our institutions, forgetting that those who really need the message of the church, will likely never find themselves inside of her walls. Perhaps that is why in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19), Jesus said, "GO." Go where? Go to where the people are. In other words, don't just "GO" to church and wait for them to come to you (as we often tend to do), rather "BE" the church, wherever the people are, and wherever the Spirit of God may lead you. If we really did that, we may be surprised to find out where we end up on Sunday mornings.

Rethinking Faith and Church posts are sometimes satirical, sometimes confrontational, and sometimes (some would say) bordering a little on the heretical; but hopefully they're always done in love. Ultimately they represent Will's renewed spiritual pilgrimage from outside the religious box of institutionalism, through which he would hope that we all might come to think a little deeper for ourselves on the things of the faith, and not just blindly follow the status quo. As Thomas A'Kempis is quoted to have once said, "Habit overcomes habit." Just because we've always been in the habit of doing church a certain way, doesn't mean that way is necessarily right and beyond examination, and thus Rethinking Faith and Church was born.