Thinking Out Loud

December 1, 2014

Spiritual Constipation

Filed under: Church — Tags: , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 6:59 am

No, I did not come up with an appropriate image for this blog post.

I came up with this term on the weekend. I wasn’t the first to use it. A Google search last night produced about 3,200 results, and some of them I can’t reiterate here.

I came up with it in reference to a situation where a particular church is simply so bound up in rules and traditions that prevents them from seeing other sets of possibilities; other ways of doing things. Ironically, this is a church which has the image of being contemporary and innovative. Yet they are like a large boat which is landlocked. A wonderful potential, but no immediate prospects of really getting into the water because nobody is willing to risk radical change.

On the other hand, as we were driving in the car, we compared it to another church where there is simply a great deal of freedom. Even in terms of the Sunday morning service, not a whole lot is written down. This church has three quarters of a century of history, but is not afraid to reinvent the wheel.

The difference between the two is people. It always is. Some people are willing to let the wind of the Spirit blow and see where it takes them. Others want controls in place; not to mention wanting to have personal control and power. The idea of being a person of power in a local church ought to strike us all as an oxymoron. It is, after all, God‘s church, not ours.

People are not going to change. To do so, they would have to either want to change, or be told to change. Some do not see the need for the former, and very few people have the courage to initiate the latter.

I’ve seen instances in my life where The Divine Coach elected to simply remove some players from the game. Maybe they were injured, or benched or cut from the team. I would hate to be that guy whose personality is so getting in the way of things that God has pull me from the game. (Maybe that’s why, at Christianity 201, I wrote so often on the subject of spiritual humility, as I did on Sunday night.)

So…do you know any churches that are spiritually constipated? What do you think would be the key to changing things?



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