Ref: I Need More — I suppose sleeping on it gives me more time to process and reduce the initial excitement.
This is another one of those points when some of you are likely to have had enough and move on. That leaves a bunch of folks who are simply observing, and just a few who actually find themselves called into this madness. Honestly, I’m not trying to wear you out. If you can’t keep up, I don’t blame you. I’m driven and all I intend here is giving you an honest account of where I’m headed, so you have a fair chance to bail out if it’s not for you.
For those who are still with me, I sense we need more organization. On the one hand, the underlying theory calls for maximum individuality. On the other hand, most of us are simply not quite ready for everything that comes with that. It requires a powerful internal drive and is quite burdensome. So between the unchanging truth and our current context must be a way point where we can rest temporarily until we can shake off the oppressive weight of our Western culture.
So I’m asking for two things here. First, I want to paint in brighter colors our respective roles as a virtual parish. The I-need-more part is that I’m not satisfied with the lack of interaction between us as people of faith. Some of you probably aren’t too sure you want to embrace a more defined role as member of the parish family, but when you believe you are ready, I think it’s important that we model as much as possible a literal community of faith. Just as a reminder, a biblical household of faith includes allied neighbors, servants and employees who benefit, and family who actually belong and have a vested interest. You are the one who decides which you are. It’s not a question of me applying a label, but describing the boundaries as best I can so you’ll know for yourself and your prayers about your involvement here will become more sharply focused.
Second, I desperately need to exercise the heritage of heart-led faith in the flesh. That heritage includes face-to-face communion. I need a heart-led buddy — at least one — someone who consciously acknowledges what we all believe and can truly say, “I’m your brother/sister.” I have the invaluable advantage of a wife who is on board, but this thing is awfully hard to explore in reality without another male figure who takes it seriously. All of that is just the core of what a genuine faith fellowship is about. It’s supposed to grow into a family, and the family becomes a tribe, and eventually a “secret kingdom” as one writer called it, an invisible feudal domain discernible only to a heart of faith.
As you can see, a critical element is that this is all tentative in the first place. We are doing eternal faith in a fallen world that is frankly ephemeral in nature. On top of that, as a particular manifestation of that faith, our parish is still trying to figure out how all of this is supposed to work for us. If what I’m teaching reflects the genuine gospel of Jesus Christ, then it’s worth an investment of life itself.
But the last thing I want to do is lock people into some collection of rituals and formal doctrine that leaves the door open too wide for dead religion. Somehow we have to make sure this thing is nearly impossible to do without a valid heart-led conviction driving you through it.
So here’s where we are: My current role is necessarily apostolic. I can’t find anyone else doing what we are doing, so I’m forced to take the lead. But my fundamental calling is pastor-elder, not pastor-priest. I still long for someone to take that latter office for us. Meanwhile, I’m still doing as much as I know how in seeking to establish a house church here. It’s not working too well; the setting itself is highly resistant. As previously noted in several posts here, we are up against a big mountain of crap that is blocking the light of truth and keeping them in the Valley of the Shadow of Death. Something has to shake them loose from all their assumptions. That day is coming, but it’s not here yet. It’s coming for all of America, and I sense that when it does, we will suddenly have our hands full. I believe it would serve best if we could lay the foundation first so it’s more obvious how to build with the living stones God adds to our number.
We have a junior elder, Jay DiNitto. By the way, he’s in Pennsylvania, a long way from Oklahoma. The other links on the right side of the blog interface here (Blogroll) represent people who have long followed this blog and have contributed usefully. If you would like to have your blog linked there, let’s talk about your role and how you’ll be listed. And could I persuade you to comment now and then, or maybe email me once in a while? Don’t worry about what to say; just tell me what’s going on in your life. That’s how I know what to pray for you. Make yourself as real to me as a virtual connection allows. Make me long to come see you in person.
Because that’s what I hope to do sometime in the near future. This is the faith part, standing firmly in my soul without a hint of concrete evidence. I have no idea how it could happen, but my convictions tell me God has plans to make it so. Join me in believing and praying to that end.
But I can’t make any of this happen. It’s on you; it’s between you and God. I’m going to run off in this direction, fully confident that God will supply all I need to make it happen. You can participate or not according to your own sense of calling. You aren’t imposing on me; I’m retired, so I have all day to answer emails, text messages and phone calls (405-503-1692). I’m not as chatty over the phone as I am in person, but that’s just a human factor we’ll have to deal with. It’s not a question of whether you need something; it’s a question of needing each other on a fundamental level. I surely need at least a few of you.
The mission is inherent in the heart-led life. We cannot be silent and keep this to ourselves; we see His glory so that it can shine through us. Our strongest witness is in our fellowship, even when we are forced to do it online. People need to see that the power of the heart-led way overcomes all obstacles. Are you in?