Wednesday, November 4, 2009

C. S. Lewis on Church 3.0

The church exists for nothing else but to draw men
into Christ, to make them little Christs. If they are
not doing that, all the cathedrals, clergy, missions,
sermons, even the Bible itself, are simply a waste of
time. God became a Man for no other purpose.
— C. S. Lewis


Tagbo {grimtraveller} said...

Hmmmm. At the great risk of being branded a heretic, I'm going to disagree with that. Not because there isn't great truth in that statement {there is, there is, there is !!}, but because I feel it puts the cart before the horse {"NEEIIGGHH !!"} and is actually man centred {do we exist for God's pleasure or to draw men to Christ ? Is one not a natural outworking of the other ?}, even though it talks about drawing men to Christ. It's minimal, hardly noticeable and very subtle, so much so that you could say I'm being unnecesarilly pedantic and splitting hairs.....
In Ephesians however, Paul tells us something different about the church and God's intentions. And therein lies the conundrum. My observation down the years is that we stretch aspects of the truth out of balance to the extent that they become THE truth. There seems little wrong here, except that overemphasis of aspects of the truth is part of the reason the denominational system has endured so long and for anyone that wants to accept that it's one of those things that we have to accept and live with, ask yourself this; can you say with confidence that God is happy with a fractured body ?
The Lord is multifaceted with so many nuances to his being { I mean, the trinity ?!?! That fact alone screams mystery, balance, tension and paradox....} that all his revealed truths need to be seen in that light {in my opinion}. It helps me guard against overemphasizing to the exclusion of all others, any one of the many truths contained in scripture or imparted here and now by the Spirit of God.
To take things a bit further, is there a connection, an innocently unhealthy one {it must be noted}, between our ekklesias being a million miles removed from the kind of every member participation and involvement {The 'one anothers'} in God's life {church life...} and the fact that so often over the last 1900 years, singular pronouncements by one person have taken on such mammoth proprtions ? If we really all weighed and tested things that we hear our brothers and sisters say and all got used to having our words weighed and tested {and of course, taught and were taught this}, then maybe there wouldn't be the extent there is of taking aspects of the truth and making them the whole and only truth. It's like you dare not argue or question such statements. And it seems to me, at any rate, that God and his truths are far too expansive to contain in a sentence or sentiment, no matter how powerful it sounds. A sentence/sentiment like C.S.Lewis' one leaves no room at all for discussion, debate, argument or disagreement. It can't be refined, added to, subtracted from. One almost feels like a heretic in even daring to question such a final, absolute all embracing statement. But question it I do.

Marti said...

Just give me Jesus.