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cheek

While I always appreciate a thoughtful attack on the lies of pragmatism, I am slightly concerned by what you are saying here. I'm not concerned with church growth (used in the context of local church membership) in the least, but I am concerned if the true church (the family of believers who have accepted the Way of Christ's Kingdom) is not growing. I don't think that we should necessarily change or message or our method because people aren't coming along, but if more people aren't recognizing the value of what we live and believe, then are we actually doing any tangible good? I think that the growth of the Kingdom, not the growth of the ecclesiastical institution, is the one and only concern of the true church. I don't necessarily disagree with anything you are saying, but I do think we should seek growth in the more genuine sense and likewise be distressed by its absence.

Adam

I'm not saying that we shouldn't be concerned at all. I am saying that church growth shouldn't necessarily be the benchmark of whether or not we are getting it right. I think the growth of the Kingdom is much harder to measure as far as numbers go. I think as the Kingdom grows we will see changes in the world far before we can figure out how many people are in the Kingdom.
Cheek I'm interested in what you think about eschatology. Do you think that eventually we will get it all right and the world will "come around" or is it something more like there is going to have to be some dramatic change before the "Kingdom" is all that there is? Or maybe there will always be dissention.
I suppose I tend to fall into more of the dramatic change camp. Of course it is not the community of believers that I am concerned about. It is the institution. I shooting thoughts off the wall here. Sorry if it sounds really scattered.

Sarah

If the "Kingdom" isn't growing, it is not attributable to the institution of church at all, but rather a reflection of how Christians lead their lives. The only true way to encourage people to "accept the way of Christ's Kingdom" is for the existing body to show that they are, in fact, better for their faith. The problem with pop-culture christianity, is that while showing The Matrix in church may fill the seats, and provide a spanking good analogy, it does little to nothing for anyone who does not actually live as Christ intended.

Adam

Good thoughts Sarah. I wonder how one would go about helping to reconstruct what a person sees as "better".

Sarah

Well, at the rate christians are going now, my best guess is that "better" is judgemental, narrow-minded and always a little bitchy...

Maybe if we worked towards the opposite of that. Although I do pride myself on being a little bitchy now and again.

cheek

I'm not exactly sure what my eschatology is. I definitely believe that the Kingdom will ultimately be realized, but I'm not really sure what will finalize it. I think it's obvious that some dramatic change would have to happen, but I don't know if that's a change that could be brought on by human endeavor or not. I'm typically more of a humanist than most, but I don't think we're capable of getting it done in total isolation since that would render Christ's ministry unnecessary, but I would like to believe that now that he has awakened us to the systemic evil and showed us how it might be overcome that we could take it from there. I don't know. I was a lot more optimistic about the human capacity for goodness before someone stole my tv from my fiancee's house.

Adam

Cheek
That's some BULL SHIT man!

Sarah
You too?

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