Return to: Pastors Are Dying. Churches are Dying. You Are the One Killing Them.

   If you need to personalize this series, you have my permission, if not my understanding. Aintsobad gets a few hundred hits each day from various places around the world. It is not a small minded, small hearted kind of posting. If you need to personalize this or any other posting, you are speaking to your own need and not to my motivation.

The Church and Its Dire Need of Idol Breakers

   An iconoclast is a "smasher of idols," from the Late Greek compound eikon (icon) and clastes (breaker). The word made its way up through Middle Latin into the French language by the mid-1600's, when it was used to describe the work of reformers who removed religious icons from the church buildings and smashed them in the streets. They acted thus because the church sanctified the icons as idols, using them to enthrall the masses and empower the church at the expense of the people.

   Today, an iconoclast is one who criticizes popularly held beliefs or ideals. This eliminates most of us from the Iconoclastic Club.

   The church, in order to become the Church, will probably need  a few hundreds of thousands of iconoclasts. In every town and village, hamlet and river crossing, the church will need idol breakers.

   If not, the church might just settle in to wait for Doomsday. You know, the Final, Apocalyptic, Catastrophic Day of Condemnation, the Left Behind kind of end to blighted human history.

   Or, the church might yet smash its idols in the streets where the People-Who-Do-Not-Know-God can see the fractured pieces shoot across the pavement into the gutter and know the church cares more for their rotting souls than for its own respectability. Then, Doomsday might be the Validation Day, the Day of God's Delight, when the Resurrected Christ calls out the names of the scattered Church and amazes the nations with the names they did not know.

   It is appointed to man once to die and then the Judgment, which we take to be threat, but might really be better understood as God's special promise to judge us according to our whole body of work. That is, rather than take snap shots of our disappointment, God may yet amaze us by looking at each cel of every image and so find the places where we delight God in the secret places, so He, God can show them like any other proud parent.

   "Oh," God might say, "that is one of Davis when he was just 53. Man, they are so cute at that age. Look, he is just starting to lose his hair. See the pudge around his middle? Yeah, that's my little man, alright."

   Really, if you are eternal, how old is 55?

   The Church might roll around in the dewy clover to the delight of the Divine Being intent on scratching its belly.

   Or it might just stay the church and wait on the street corner, like the unemployed and the homeless, lost in their belief that history will end as it progresses, with the ins and the outs, and mostly outs.

   God bless the Church. God help the church.


4 thoughts on “Return to: Pastors Are Dying. Churches are Dying. You Are the One Killing Them.”

  1. I’m glad you got the server revived.
    We have our own Golden Calves these days.
    I pray that we have the courage to look beyond those idols. You know them. They include, but aren’t limited to:
    – “We’ve always done it this way.”
    – “Nope. Can’t. He’s divorced.”
    – “If we have church on Friday night, no one will come.”
    – “Sunday School is always before Worship.”
    – “We’ve got to start exactly at 11 and have the Preacher in the pulpit by 11:15 so that he can start the invitation before the TV goes to football.”
    You/we could think of a lot more of these idols. We get caught up in doing ‘church’ rather than growing the ‘church’.
    Remind me again why we are doing this?
    “But we’ve never done it that way before…”

  2. Rick,
    This is the very thing I have been trying to arrange, in just such a way in my own thinking so that it make sense to me, that I, as the Temple of God, and the Church as the Body of Christ, withal that that connote, so approach life from its forebearance, through its currency and into even its legacy that those worthy items of its forebearance be found in my great grandniece’s and nephew’s heritage while allowing them to be, as I, contemporary to their own generation.
    So I think I agree in general, but may repectfully disagree on some specifications…I just can’t quite tell.

  3. When I was at Howard Payne and Truett, I don’t remember anyone saying, “I feel called to manage religious people.” Yet, that is what the pastorate seems to be about.

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