Reforming

 

 

The modern Christian Church is crypto-Lutheran!  That doesn’t mean that you have to be a Lutheran.  You don’t even have to like Luther or his reforming ideas.

 

What it does mean is that you have to deal with Luther; you can’t simply ignore him or the fact that 500 years ago he changed the face of Christianity.   Will you say that was for the better?  Or will you be on the other side that find him disruptive, deconstructive and confusing the faithful?  Somewhere I picked up the maxim that, “Confusion is the beginning of wisdom”.  The rumblings of change were there when Luther started, but Guttenberg’s printing press gave him the means to express the reforms.

 

Today, lots of people don’t go to church.  They consider themselves ‘Spiritual, just not religious”.  The rumblings have been there for a while; many of the believers of today won’t be confined to a building, doctrine or a denomination.  Have they had enough of the old church and reformed church?  Is it the end of denominationalism?  The new printing press is the IPhone and the like and the new reforming message may be that you cannot hem in Christianity or the Spirit.  They are free and do not need your hoops to jump through.

 

Ironically, they long for ritual that can bring meaning to life’s events, happy or sad.  The seeming lack of ‘fellowship’ is only on the surface.  Births and baptisms, death and funerals are still social and sacramental occasions.

 

While they share on social media, the need for face-to-face contact is always there.  The challenge for the modern church is to develop the meeting place or occasions that serve the needs of millennials.

What the new reformers need is their friends.  People they may keep in constant touch with, but live hundreds of miles away.  Friends still have a need to get together.  The new pastor will gather them together wherever they may be (increasingly on line).  My parish council asked me to start a second Mass on Sunday.  I responded, “If I’m going to start a second service it will be at the Little League Diamond before the games start.  That’s where the people are on Sunday mornings in this part of town.”

 

Our wonderful church buildings will still serve the faithful, but not until we pastors embrace the new reformation and go to them.  They’re done coming to us.  Pastoral care contacts are on social media and that seems to be where the mission field is today.

 

It’s a time to learn from each other.  Everyone is welcome!

The Episcopal Church welcomes you just as you are…”NO EXCEPTIONS!”

 

 

Have you checked out …www.no-Exceptions.org yet?