Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Thrill of the Missional Church (and a great teacher)

Have you ever been so excited, so happy, you felt like you could just burst into tears?  Yeah, okay, but in the middle of a class?

I'm there.

What a long, strange journey it's been, and bound to get stranger.  When I began at this seminary, I wrote:
I feel stripped raw, and completely alone, which I am. I know it's for a reason, the being alone... I know that it's part of the process, for me to have no one whom I can turn to for guidance ... heck, the fact that we lost our minister the month I started school -- obviously, I need to be completely and utterly alone, with no support, so that I can find what I need within me.
Oh, honey, I think.  You didn't even know from stripped then.

But I can remember sitting in class, with this fundamentalist professor, wanting to burst into tears as he taught a theology that was just so hateful to me.

Last night, I sat in a class, thrilled to the very marrow of my bones.  Father Mac and I sat together, both of us just giddy from excitement. 

In addition to both being theologically liberal, we have both been bitten by the missional bug.  Actually, we think it's more like the red and blue pills in the Matrix.  Once you've begun looking at church in a completely different way, in a missional way, you can't go backwards.

We've got us a missional teacher.  And I mean, the real deal.  Former Southern Baptist minister, who walked away from a 400 member church because of all his questions.  And now does "church" is a wholly different way. 

Last night, I witnessed a few students' heads exploding.  It was AWESOME.

Just a few of the gems:
  • “God’s spirit is big enough to guide us all.  And is big enough to protect us from going down the wrong path.”
  • "The life of a follower of the way of Jesus, is a life of journey.  God will be moving us away from a life that is comfortable." 
  • "I don't believe that Post-moderns don't believe in absolute truth.  Postmoderns DO believe in absolute truth.  But they don’t believe that science, religion, or YOU possess absolute truth.  You believe it’s true, but you can’t prove it.  Postmoderns say, 'Be honest that you can’t prove it, and be less certain.'
  • If your church is built on Reason and Certainty, postmoderns won’t come back. We have to learn to embrace the mystery of God.  And embrace some humility.  
  • The only harshness Jesus displayed was to the church.  If we have a view of God that he is angry and wants to punish someone, we didn’t get that from Jesus.
And tons of other great stuff, that I'm sure I'll be writing about.

When Father Mac and I left class, we didn't clasp hands and begin jumping up and down like excited schoolgirls.

But we both wanted to.

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