Let’s be clear …

 Architecture Stpauls

Let me be clear.

In some of my observations of the spiritual landscape in urban London that have been posted the past several weeks …

1. I am lamenting the waste of real estate and resources. No one should interpret that as advocating that these be converted into church models like one would see in the U.S. or elsewhere. Nor am I suggesting that they return to the days of yesteryear and a Christendom hegemony that has long since passed. I’m lamenting the waste, the money and physical resources tied up by ecclesiastical bureaucracies that could be put to alternative missional use, creative and appropriate to the needs of this setting.

2. I fully realize that God is doing much in this context “under the radar.” He’s not limited and is patiently accomplishing his purposes in new and fresh expressions that are bypassing all the visible and institutional.

3. Simultaneously, I am impressed by some of what I see in some of the existing, historic structures such as I alluded to in the post regarding St. Mary’s. I am, by no means, writing off all that exists.

3. I am not ripping the church. I am critiquing forms that institutionalized Christianity has taken that are ineffective, irrelevant and counter-productive to people living out in their culture what the genuine “ecclesia”—the called out ones of Jesus—could be.

4. I heard one Anglican bishop state last year that approximately 40% of the British population could be reached effectively by existing churches and parishes of the Church of England if they were spiritually alive, healthy and vibrant. Even if that did happen (which is certainly an admirable focus of those so called but simultaneously a stretch considering that less that 1% of the British population attends the Church of England on any given Sunday), what happens to the other 60%?

5. The “blessing in disguise” of such institutional marginalization is that those serious about God’s missional call are figuring out how to get out there where the people and where the culture really are. Desperation is marvelous mid-wife for creativity and invention. The lack of such is one of the dilemmas of the American scene where few in the Christian sub-culture are really desperate. Complacency, comfort, personal peace and prosperity have carried the day.

6. Would that God would graciously allow Britain to experience a spiritual renaissance. With the incredible legacy this nation has and the remarkable contribution it has made to the worldwide Christian movement over the past 1,000 years, could it be that some of its greatest days could in fact lie ahead? God make it so.

One Response to “Let’s be clear …”

  1. David Says:

    Been reading your blog…thanks to Steve H who sent me the link. I’ve been meeting with him a bit.
    We have a small community here about 10 minutes from Steve’s house, and really like CRM. In fact, we’ll be ‘official’ through the MCAP program soon.
    Funny, we also have a huge heart for England though we’ve never been there, so your posts are very enlightening. Thank you for your insight, and your heart. We hope to be there long term in a few years.

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