Sunday, February 17, 2008

At Home in Ambridge

Welcome to my personal web log. I'll be using this site to record what God is doing in my life, and perhaps offer some reflections on what is going on in Christendom and the World.

Christendom. Ah, there's the rub. Christendom as a concept has failed. It had great promise, starting with Emperor Constantine, and renewed in the Reformation. The Reformers, contary to popular belief, were great believers in Christendom, supporting a "Church for All" in each country, supported by the Prince of that country. Mainline Christianity is built on those same assumptions: The job of the Church was to occupy the land in Christendom, and it assumed that each country was a Christian country.

Christendom failed. It failed because it did not make disciples for Christ. In the end, it failed to maintain even a nominally "Christian country." Here on the North American Continent, we live in a post-Christian society. Even the mainline churches are becoming post-Christian: their leaders no longer believe that Jesus is the only hope of the world, and maintain that all faiths lead to the deity.

It is time to return to the concepts of the pre-Constantine Church. We are strangers in a foreign land. We are missionaries in a pagan land. Our message is the only hope of a fallen and lost society. New approaches are needed. Old approaches are needed, that is, pre-Constantine approaches. Turning back the clock is neither desirable nor possible, yet we can learn much from the early church.

Alan Morris and I are approaching a final draft of a General Rule of life for Christian disciples. The ideas are all there. Next will be finding those who are ready to approach radical discipleship; such as that suggested by Dietrich Bonhoeffer in The Cost of Discipleship. I have waded about one-fourth of the way into his book, and I'm asking my Lord to help me finish and digest it before Lent has passed us by.

If you have landed on this web log by chance, and you are curious, you may find out what I've been doing for the last two years by checking out, where I was living in cramped quarters with a select few men who wanted to escape from the world of alcohol and drug addiction. That ministry came to an end in December, and I'm finding myself called to be here in Ambridge, Pennsylvania, being asked to edit a Rule of Life for a bishop, being asked to teach an over-the-road trucker how to read the Bible, and being asked to watch over a 9-year-old boy who needed a home and is interested in being baptised.

I find it a bit bewildering. What keeps me going is the solid history I have experienced over the last 12 years: Ever since I gave my whole life to God, it seems that He knows what I need better than I do. I'm no longer the God of my own life; not even Master of my own life. Yet He is faithful, He knows the plans he has for me, to give me hope and a future.

Thank you, Lord. I love you.

No comments: