Suggestion Ten: The Triumph of Ideas


   "It takes courage to face a duelist with a pistol and it takes courage to face a British general with an army. But it takes still greater and far higher courage to face friends with a grievance."

                                    —-Harry S. Truman

What is your Big Idea?

   I believe the Free Church with all its congregational autonomy (sort of) and its non-creedalism (we are not creedal; we say that repeatedly in our creed), needs some way to locate, train, police and help practice those who indicate a sense of holy vocation (a redundancy; a vocation by its nature is holy). We do not have such an apparatus now.

   Associations can help with this and conventions but they neither feels able to do the policing aspect. The results are sometimes disastrous. Sexual predators, church killers and the feeble-minded can still get recommended to local congregations, if they have a friend. They can still get called to those churches if they can maintain decorum through an often less than elaborate vetting process.

   Free Church ministers ought to change the process. In fact, we probably must if the Free Church is going to continue to be a force.

   So, what is your  Big Idea?

   FDR had his New Deal. HST tried to make it a Fair/Square Deal. LBJ wanted a war on poverty but lost it in Viet Nam.

   Reagan's idea was Morning in America. In two terms, President Reagan's one idea changed the course of the 20th Century. We do not yet know if his vision restored America or only delayed the inevitable decline. We are too close to the events to know.

   What is your Idea?

   We can only make a variation of three choices, really: Stay as we are, Get Worse or Get Better.

   What is your Idea?

   We should be putting money, time, effort and our better brains into Option Three Above.

   What is your Idea?

   My position is clearly stated. Throw money at the problem. Get an organization of ministers into place who will take care to do the works I have outlined here today and elsewhere. It is time to get started.

   A few will tell us this just creates a new level of bureaucracy. It occurs to me some of them might be trying to protect their place in the machine.

   Still, what is your Idea?

   No one seriously believes things will remain as they are, do you? So, we really have two options; get better or get worse. I can see worse coming.

   What about better?

   What is your Idea?

  Ok, try this one, then.

   You guys are too in need of approval, too prone to seek comfort, too likely to take the path of least resistance. We are in desperate need of engaged ministry in the world by the True Church, rather than withdrawal from the process.

   Or, this of it this way.

   Gethsemane was the way to Calvary. The agonizing prospect of public disapproval made the Empty Tomb a possibility. The struggle to be the Savior took place in the Garden the night prior or why did He go there?

   He addressed the issue head on. He insisted the Church (such as it was) keep it eyes open to the reality of the moment. The Church, being the Church, preferred its comfort. Peter and the boys slept, until it was too late to comfort Him.

   Wake up.

   What is He about now?

   What is your Idea?

   You and I will be forgotten by all but Him before too many years pass. Our images will fade in the minds of our dearest lovers before the worms finish with our mortal remains. Our ideas, well, they have a chance to live until He comes again, the One who never forgets.

   Get a Big Idea.



2 thoughts on “Suggestion Ten: The Triumph of Ideas”

  1. Ideas are not in shortage. I think better than asking, What is your idea? – let’s ask Where is the courage to share the ideas God is placing deep in our hearts?
    We teach our children a song that says Our God is A Great Big God. Then where are those great big thoughts, I know God is faithfully giving them out.
    I am afraid we have set up an atmosphere where only “credentialed” people can have ideas. I challenge that with scripture, since at least a couple or more places say the were uneducated, untrained men who where recognized as having been with Christ.
    Are we guilty of only hearing those with the proper degrees?
    I am very interested in starting this apprenticeship for future ministers. Our schools are not answering the call if we hear the Focus on The Family stats of 95% burnout in 5 years. That is so far from fixable it is not funny.

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