Holy Crap Must Go!
95 Theses Rap Video. Facebook users can see it here: 95 Theses Rap
There is a provocative essay being passed around church leaders, by Walter Russell Mead (son of the well-known church writer Loren Mead) called The Holy Crap Must Go in which he compares the current age to the age of the Reformation saying that the accumulated detritus of denominations must be dispensed with. His basic thesis is presented here:
In the spirit of Martin Luther, let me post a provocative thesis on the wall: If virtually the entire regional and national staff of every mainline denomination were to be called home to heaven overnight in a mainline version of the Rapture, leaving only the equivalent of Bishop Baker and his secretary in their place, I am sure that someone somewhere would notice a difference, but the effect on either the spiritual state of American Christians or the health and well being of local congregations throughout the United States would be hard to detect with the naked eye.My friend, Tom Sramek writes about it here Out with the old and in with the...? in which he assesses the piece as offering a problem, but no real solution. Tom then cleverly connects his won church situation to the first Apple Mac commercial, which I will post below. He asks, how to become that "nimble, flexible, change-the-world church."
Another person refkecting on Mead's essay is Dan Martins who writes a reflection Skating to where the puck is going to be taking its title from hockey great Wayne Gretsky who said that was the key instead of skating to where the puck is. Martins says in part,
Before Christendom (that is, before Emperor Constantine made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire in the second decade of the fourth century), the Sunday Eucharist was the last place Christians expected to meet a “seeker.” Might we need to re-engineer the social architecture of our church communities such that potential new members find us and are integrated into various aspects of our common life even before they have ever darkened the door of the nave on a Sunday morning? A great deal of thinking-outside-the-box is called for here.I know I don't have a silver bullet answer that will solve all church woes. But I am also deeply convinced that as long as we worry about church finances and church attendance, these will not only dwindle, but they should dry up and blow away. For if we concern ourselves instead with the mission of the church to a lost and hurting world, then we will be about that for which the church exists whether its structures (hierarchical and physical plant alike) survive. It is the Good Shepherd model, where by our outreach we get involved in the lives of lost sheep, rather than the Little Bo Peep model whereby we wait for the sheep to come wandering home on their own.
Honestly, I don’t much like where the puck is going to be. I don’t even like where it is. I much prefer it where it used to be! But I’m wearing these skates and I have this stick in my hand, and it’s my job to get in the game.
The Rev. Frank Logue, Traitor to the Cause?*
*I'm the guy who loves the local church and just announced he is leaving working for a local congregation to join just the sort of denominational structure Mead's essay rails against, hoping that this is God's leading and the Kingdom of God will be , in some small way, better not worse for my move.
Facebook users can see the Mac video here: 1984 Apple's Macintosh Commercial