A few years ago I wrote a book length memoir in this space. I titled it "Service Interrupted," and, with it, told some stories from my five years of work on the BGCT staff.
"Service Interrupted" was a look at the past. With it, I also evidenced some hope about the future, if BGCT pulled together to overcome its poor leadership, entangling alliances with outside interest groups and fading, failing vision.
I simply do not have that hope any longer. This would not matter if real people and actual ministries did not suffer when the central body falters. For their sake, Connecting Christians will need to find a means of cooperation, a way to organize communally, a neural-type, close synaptic connectivity.
If something good does not happen, centrist, free church Christianity as a cultural influence in Texas will suffer irreparably. A peak at history reveals just how ruthless Man is in discarding once mightily important gods when those gods can no longer keep up with evolving human needs. Ask Baal.
"Nihilism stands at the door," Nietzsche wrote. "Whence comes this uncanniest of guests?"
Do not be frightened off by the dour pronouncement. Worse yet, do not be put off by the unfamiliar word, nihilism. It just means nothingness and only describes the ultimate end of a loss of consensus, when applied to culture.
Christians actually take one of our cardinal doctrines from the Latin ex nihilo. We believe (and so teach) in a Creation from nothing by fiat, the spoken word of God. In this way, we presume Creation, all of it, including the world, including humankind, is the established preserve of God, rather than the abyss Nietzche finally decided upon.
So, the word nihilism is a word with which Christians can work, for it describes the chaos where God has already worked to create. What God has done, God can do again, and more. Nihilism is a frightening concept only because it portrays what it might portend; a post-apocalyptic nightmare world where there is no accepted concept of right and wrong.
I agree with what you are now thinking. If life is empty, if the world is hopeless, it will not be because an outmoded religious convention ceases to exert influence, or even ceases to exist. If the pit engulfs us all, it will finally be because we no longer find a means to organize around a single right way to live.
We will have lost the way to describe an admirable life.
Then there will be no hope.
I would like to think some new committee of the same old persons will somehow find the One Savior figure they believe is out there for them. They will not, for their old alliances still entangle and their fears consume. That is, the past will cause the present to doom the future. The committee will fail, for they will select someone thought to be admirable for some reason(s).They will fail, for the reasons they admire the one they choose is the reasons someone else abhors him/her.
I am going to try to help.
I am going to try to say what might be considered an admirable life. I am not admirable, so this attempt is not autobiographical. Those who try to make it so will be at once disappointed and then angered. Do not try.
If we long for an admirable person, we will be at once disappointed, and then angered, not because there is no admirable person, but because we do not know how to express the characteristics of an admirable life. Once upon a time, a person who lived according to the revealed truth of a (Church dominated) Christian life was thought to be admirable. People who did not live the life were in danger in some times and places. Excesses abounded.
Still, there was a consensus. Men knew how to describe an admirable life, even if they never intended to live it.
We have no unique, id-resistant, agreed upon social ground now. Successive directors of the BGCT/TBC have been selected and then ejected because their admirable natures were suddenly no longer admirable when suspended in creative tension intended to maintain some fictional balance. The next will do no better (and last no longer) without a moral mandate which he/she envisions, then mandates and finally imposes on the imagination of the few left who follow.
For awhile, I will try to say what is an admirable life.
Opinions expressed here are mine alone.