Here is a post from Red Letter Christians. I don’t know if I can claim to come from “Evangelical” circles the way people talk about the term here in the states, but I very much resonate with the pull to leave, if not the mainstream church, then many of its expressions, practices “laws” behind. I’m looking towards more of a lifestyle and community than a social club, where the ‘work’ – or at least its focus – takes place in streets and homes, hearts and families, more than in a central dedicated building.
Anyway, here’s the post. It takes the form of an open letter.
Dear Post-Evangelicals by Micah Bales
And as I said, I much identify. I’m not from the background of many of the people whose lives and thoughts I’ve read about. I’m an international mongrel hybrid substantially brought up with a healthy disrespect for pastors and leadership, and for “the rules” as laid out, spoken or unspoken, by many churches. Note that word ‘healthy’ – it means that I have the utmost respect for those called to lead others in the faith on a larger-scale level than myself, but I also have been, more than some, familiar with their personal lives, frailties, egos, prone-to-error-sinfulness and plain humanity that they share with the rest of us – so no pedastals.
I can’t, don’t want to, won’t be leaving the mainstream/organised church altogether. Every church is part of the global body, we’re all one church together as believers, in my mind (I hate the division in the body that I see all over the place, but that’s another story).
So, without leaving the institutional church, it has taken us awhile to find our place (here’s hoping where we are will be it, for this season). Maybe it’s been harder here in Texas, here in the deep South (or so I’m told), I don’t really know much about anywhere else around here. We had a year on our search where we camped at a great church that aspired to a lot of what we’re seeking to be, but it wasn’t working out well for us, for a variety of reasons, chief among them that I believe He wasn’t calling us to settle there. I won’t knock it, because it were good and there were extremely loving, Godly people there. But we didn’t manage deeper relationships, roots, as it were.
So here’s praying that where we are is the place. I understand Micah’s outsider feeling. I’d like to feel more like an insider again, in our church community, and ever more like an outsider in this world.