Sunday, February 25, 2007

Confessions of A Closet Blogger (Part 2)

Thanks to Gene for the comment on part 1. I fully intend to keep on blogging, but it's just a matter of how many people I feel comfortable letting know about it. It's funny that I said what I did just this week in part 1, because today after church, I went to speak to the pastor about something, and one of my good friends that knows about my blog was talking to him. They were talking something about translating things from Old English into today's English because many of the words no longer have the same meaning. I'm not sure what type of materials they were talking about, but I added my own smart comment and said that was another reason to oppose post-modernism today. They laughed and my pastor make a crack about making the words mean whatever the user wants, then my friend laughed and said, "yeah, like on your blog!" I don't think the pastor caught the comment, and turned to me and asked my what I wanted to say. Close call. Should I care? Okay, I'm self-conscious.

One reason I enjoy the blogging world so much is that it brings the idea of community to individuals that would have no other outlet. With respect to the philosophical idea of the One and the Many, I'm a believer that (and this is my view of the Holy Trinity) neither the One or the Many are more important than the other. Community isn't more important than the individuals that make up a community, and vice versa. Both are equally necessary. Communism is an example of a political system that emphasises the One to an unhealthy extreme, and reduces the individual to insignificant. Radical Anarchy emphasizes the individual to the exclusion of the community, so it's every man for himself, and chaos is a result. This goes for One and Many, community and individual, parts to the whole, etc.

In my church circles, I feel like I have no room for theological growth. Most people seem to be content with the limited theological lunch in a box we've been fed for that mid-day hour. Our doctrine is limited to a second-hand pseudo-Reformed type of theology. Our main sources aren't the Reformers themselves, nor necessarily the Puritans themselves, but popular distillers of this theology. We're heavily influenced by John MacArthur, RC Sproul, John Piper and the like. Slightly deeper theology comes from maybe DA Carson, JI Packer, or traditional sources like JC Ryle, Arthur Pink and a tad from some Puritans, and Martin Luther and John Calvin are sometimes quoted.

Most of our church growth (I joined 11 years ago with 60 people, now we're at almost 500) has come not from conversions due to our ministry, but from sheep transfer from other churches. We get soooo many people come in through our doors that say things like, "we've been to a different church every Sunday for years and you're the first church that uses the bible." Or, bad teaching or the adoption of heresy or some other ill have been introduced into their church and they can't take it any longer. One church up the road shut its doors in '99 because the pastor took his family, armed and with canned food, to live in a bunker in Montana awaiting the collapse of our government due to Y2K. We gained a couple of families there. As a result (and our pastor admits this) it's like having to train people in some of the most basic beliefs of Christianity all the time. So much time is spent bottle feeding and changing theological diapers in our growing sheep nursery, that it's hard for adults to grow. Many people don't want to talk about things beyond the basics, so I feel the need to turn elsewhere.

That's why I love the internet community so much. Theology has for so long been in the hands of the elite (the church), that the common man (the individuals) have had no say in developing the Christian belief system. But individuals are just as important as the community, so I've learned and been stretched so much by what I've read from other individuals - including many non-Christians - things that I never could have considered if I were content to live in the box that the theological ruling class has created for us to live in. The elites have been in control for so long, they've effectively eliminated the possibility for individuals with the hunger to grow to do so. But I feel the internet, as digital technology, has changed this. I'm thankful to God for this.

No comments:

Post a Comment