Churches are chubby dinosaurs jogging on treadmills with their huge heads in the grass while a cataclysm approaches. What will survive the coming earthquake? Something akin to mice with tiny hiding spots, that is: small home cell groups with Band-of-Brothers’ type bonding, flexibility, & personal nurturing. Churches will be perceived by the govt. as the problem and sealed. The future is coming at us. How soon will it arrive I can’t say, but the seeds of survival & hope are alive today. Our hope will save us (cf. ROM 8:24-25) so let’s embrace the mystery of the future. The answer is not to resist change, but to use divine creativity & to enter the dynamic center of the Spirit’s work to deal with it.
What approaches appears absolute; hope will prove what is possible. Hope realizes that despair and fear are from the enemy (“Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness” EPH 5:11)… and that we cannot see all the positive facts. Reality is bigger than what we can see. “…the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” (1 JN 4:4) To wrap ourselves in hopelessness is to entrap ourselves. We too quickly get upset with God! YHWH God is telling us, “You’re judging me in the middle of things, look at my Word, ‘Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.’” And in every nation that has sealed its churches, the invisible home cell groups have thrived more than the extinct big business churches had. (Ha! Plus, notice how people appreciate things when they are missed, like gun rights, and freedom of religion?)
Band of brothers & sisters, why must we go thru the pressure cooker?? God is cooking. I had been fixing fancy omelets for a Mennonite couple before we went to church. Later, the couple’s father tried to even the score by scrambling some eggs and cutting a slice of cheese. He said as he served me my plate, “That’s the same thing as an omelet.” My feelings were to wrinkle my nose, and say something clever to show that having some ingredients is not the same as cooking them together; (instead I said, “thanks.”) We have the ingredients of a true community of believers, they just need to be cooked together to create a functioning body of believers. God will do His work thru ordinary people dealing with extraordinary times, and then we will see new patterns of living faith. Better will be the end, Hallelujah! Keep your faith & hope my friends.