One of my new favorite websites is neueministry.com. Today there was a post on how the main metaphor for the Church in Scripture is family. The problem, however, is that the church today is dominated with the metaphor of the business corporation. This leads to fragmentation, isolation, and spectatorship. You can (and should) read the article here.
After reading that article, I read Dave Mudd’s blog (a friend of mine) about dealing with conflict between two parties. There’s three sides to every story: yours, theirs and the truth. Getting the sides together is a powerful way to resolve that conflict.
These posts got me thinking about how critical it is that we find ways to experience authentic relationships with others. In a culture where the family is defined by disfunction and brokeness, is it any wonder we see the same faults in the church?
And then what does that disfunction communicate to our culture? If we’re no different, then why bother? If we aren’t willing to “see the other side” of the conflict, what has Christ done for us?
I suppose that leads me to conclude that a significant part of this come from our own self-centeredness. We place ourselves at the center of the universe and expect (demand?) that the world revolve around us.
Please understand, I don’t mean to “beat up” the church or be overly negative. It’s just that there are times when I see how followers of Christ treat each other and I have to ask whether or not we’re really following Jesus or ourselves. It would do us some good to regard each other as family instead of people who punch our timecards on a Sunday. And it would be powerful for us to be willing to face our conflict, seek out resolution and restore broken relationships.
(By the way, I realize the picture doesn’t really have any direct connection to this post, but it came up when I searched for “family” and I thought it was funny.)