Couple months ago somebody somewhere released statistics showing the flight of Christians from “mainline” denominations, or some such.
Last I heard “mainlining” had to do with addiction, and usually an addiction someone was desperate to kick.
Regarding the statistics from some survey I can’t remember, the point was people are leaving churches – or church buildings.
Regardless, I remember at some point in my life a “Time” magazine article touting a rush toward conservative denominations.
Jim at “Lord I Believe” over there at the right and a profusion of links from his blog will connect you to the “Emerging” church. Their main point being a rush back toward Jesus. Also, that the church is the body of believers – not some building.
Jim asked me and others to read “So You Don’t Want to Go to Church Anymore” and I’ve been stuck in the last third -not because it wasn’t interesting but because when I’m not working, chasing the children or reading blogs I’m writing (or getting in my five hours sleep each night).
I like the premise that Christianity has become too institutionalized but at the same time I’m not ready to break entirely away from “IC” as Jeff Mc (should that be MC Jeff is in the house?) notes at his blog – the newest addition to my carefully-managed blogroll.
The comment I left for Jeff reads:
I guess I’m in a weird place because I gather with other Christians in a library while Coolio looks down on us all. (See my story about that here https://samwrites2.wordpress.com/2008/04/03/sometimes-my-aadd-kicks-in-during-praise/ )
The format would be what you call IC except with more discussion among those gathered during prayer request time and after someone gives a lesson from God’s word.
I’m sticking with the small group to try and change it from the inside. Your blog and others like it help give me ideas as I seek what God would have me do and what contributions/ideas I could pass on to the group of 30-40 people.
What’s encouraging is much group interaction occurs in each other’s homes and the local coffee shop.
The ministry we sponsor is a car-care ministry helping the poor (this is how I started meeting with these folks – they bought me a car!) repair their cars and sometimes even getting them a used one. In addition, we support missionaries doing stuff like building water purification systems and stoves in Guatemala and caring for orphans in Romania.
You subversive you. Thanks for your ideas and inspiration.
So I’m of the belief that I’m not mainlining Institutionalized Christianity anymore, but there’s this Holy Spirit IV stuck in me that’s keeping my spiritual body alive as I grow and live with God the father present in obedience (I try, anyway) to God after redemption through Jesus Christ.
Maybe I’ll take another shot at explaining that metaphor later on – I’m still growing and right now I’m not sure the IV is working as efficiently as it can due to something clogging the line, something maybe caused from me messing with it trying to get it to feed faster than it should.
In the meantime, as noted in my last blog, I’m flying straight to my Father’s arms.