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A foot in both worlds

September 2, 2007

It’s Sunday morning. Not too many years ago—when we had a houseful of children—I can remember the youngest one asking, “Are we going to church today?” The oldest quickly replied, “Have we ever NOT gone to church on Sunday? Don’t be silly!” At the time, I never really thought about the significance of those six words and how they defined my view of church and Christianity.

We have set out on a new adventure, trying to understand “church” as something different. If others want to continue thinking along traditional lines, that’s okay with us. We certainly understand the benefits of being part of something big, especially when children (especially teenagers) are involved. In some respects, it’s like going to the Mall of America. You don’t have to go anywhere else! Everything you need, or think you need, is under one roof.

We’re still part of a large congregation that meets in its own special building on Sundays, but I don’t think it will be for much longer. The sticky problem for me: I am employed by that congregation and, until I can work out a way to replace the income, our family is dependent upon their financial support. We love the people there and we don’t want to cause any hurt or division when we leave; in fact, we would love to remain connected to many of our brothers and sisters there. The ball will be in their court, as far as we’re concerned.

So for now, we have a foot in both worlds. We’re learning about our freedom in Christ and how Father wants us to walk with Him day by day. That’s been a huge adjustment, because I have often felt defined by my role in the local church or even by my wider role in denominational life. And I honestly feel that I had exchanged worship for the living Christ with worship of a book, although one that claims to be His very Word breathed out to men. Yes, I had become a bibliolater! And I was so enamored with “the book” and teaching “the book” and reading “the book” that I didn’t notice that I had virtually no relationship with the Author.

We’ll be “going to church” this morning, as always, but we are looking forward to the future when we can just BE the church, living alongside other believers and those who don’t believe in Jesus.

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