Thursday, February 24, 2005


Recently a friend of mine who is starting a church plant sent me an email concerning his mother's reaction to his plans of planting a church. She was upset because of something he planned to do in worship that was outside of her (and his previous) church experience. While there are many in the Christian world who practice this thing in worship, she was scandalized that her son would make such a move.

In talking with my friend I reminded him what a good and godly woman his mother is, and that she is part of a religious tradition that does not distinguish between ecclesiology (the things we do as a church family) and Christology (the things we believe about Jesus). Because I, too, was brought up in this faith family I understand it well. It is amazing to me know, however, that an entire church tradition could so closely link a worship tradition to faithfulness to Jesus. In the eyes of my friend's mother, if he does not worship exactly like she does then he has left the faith and is worse than an unbeliever (because "He should know better!"). What a deadly spiritual belief! It was just this type of legalistic abuse of Scripture and tradition that Jesus sought to point out to the Pharisees and other religious leaders. They responded by nailing Jesus to the cross. That is about the most creative response possible for people who deliberately confuse Christology and Ecclesiology.

Jesus came to show us what a live lived in obedience to God looked like. He calls us to follow him and live as he lived. It really has very little to do with proper worship acts and functions. It has everything to do with how you respond to God and neighbor.

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