The Traveller’s Rest- Immunity from Community?

A Manufactured Organic Community?

Every faith community is a manufactured community. Even those who try to sell a concept of organic church have actually sold a manufactured concept. All of this creates something that becomes the reverse of what Jesus tried to show us. This creation of a sub-cultural community outside of the remit of life itself creates a false reality and sphere that takes us away from what we are supposed to be connecting with and bringing light influence too. The whole ‘be ye separate’, ‘come out from amongst them’ thought and theology is so “anti-Christ” a belief system, but is one acceptable to us because we are aliens, strangers, foreigners, in need of the creation of a community to survive, be protected, keep us away from ‘evil’ situations of flesh, earth, worldliness. We need to submit ourselves to a somebody to live a good life. We need to be taught the way to live properly through a teacher’;s correct interpretation of the Holy Book. This can only be done in community of faith and worship. This can only be done under leaders and responsible faith community people. The manufactured community called ‘church’ is the only way to not neglect gathering together and to be aligned to right and correct doctrine. We therefore get taken from connection into the communities we are already a part of and spend time, energy, finance and effort building a new community of heavenly temples. Surely this is opposite to what Jesus showed us. He showed us how to divest heavenly safety and security to connect with real organic life and community, outside of religious confines and gatherings. The community of life. The community of those we bump into every day. The community of the margins and the unbeaten. The community of family and travelling companions. The community of sharing life and stories and food and drink. Of connecting with the dirt on our feet and the pain of humanity. Bringing life to the ordinary and hope to the journey. Investing into a life that I may never see again.

Anything Termed Christian is Totally Unchristian.

We end up with Christian books, Christian music, Christian schools, Christian web-sites, Christian churches. This is a sign that these things are as far removed from Christianity as we think worldliness really is. They create a bubble world so far removed from reality that we get equipped to escape true community. After I signed on the dotted line of belief I ended up losing my friends, who I grew up in school with, formed bands with, dated, laughed, danced, socialised with. My community was too ‘worldly’ and I needed a new community of ‘Christians’. I could not go certain places on Sunday to watch my favourite sport speedway, the loss of another community. My parents also rarely saw me because each night I would be found hidden away with my new community, being taught the proper way of living, serving, worshipping. This is what God wanted. I look back and think this was utter tosh, unchristian, false, the creation of a manufactured community that instead of saving me and mankind, was actually drawing me further away from what I should have been connecting with. Life, my friends, my peers, my companions of the journey. If any of you friends are reading this now I apologise for dumping you for God. For a false God that ripped apart instead of building, hoping, loving, connecting. Why do we think sending our kids to Christian schools will make them better people? Where do we get that from? Just listening to Christian music and reading Christian books, what are we scared of? Is our faith so powerless that hearing, seeing, living, connecting any other way will make us infidels and ‘sinners’? Our faith should connect us stronger in the world we already live in, not take us away and create a new paradigm of false community. Am I saying never gather? Of course not, that is for the next part of this mini series. But I am saying anything that strives to replace or take us away from or becomes our whole life, at the expense of life itself, needs re-evaluation. Maybe the Christian stuff is actually the most unchristian stuff we can be involved in.

Truly Organic is not a Do It Like This.

For a truly organic expression of community to become reality we have to just grasp our life. There is no right or wrong way to express this. If it becomes a written formula with helping hints it ceases to be organic. That is why I do not like or want organic church. That is in itself a manufactured organic form. I just want to see people living life. Connecting with life. Communing with those they find in life. Family, friends, the stranger at the well or bus stop. Those we drink a pint with and eat breakfast with. Nothing forced, but just flowing. My day will look different to yours, although we may find a point of connection and then separation. We should have an immunity from manufactured community, and discover a greater connectivity around us. Life, the greatest community of all.

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5 thoughts on “The Traveller’s Rest- Immunity from Community?

  1. martin

    Wow Paul!! Great piece of writing and so perceptive. Bold and clear. The ‘anything termed Christian being non-Christian’ was quite a hit. Love to see how you follow with the next part without losing the weight of this post.

    Reply
  2. mervyn

    so true it seems we form distinct christian ghettoes ,about time we realised you dont get the reputation of being a “glutton and wine bibber” by hiding in the wilderness with like minded friends!…..keep it up really enjoying your blogs !

    Reply
  3. adrian2526

    My favorite phrase is : you can not go to church you can only be it – however do you think the early follower of the way made a big mistake in meeting before it was light on the first day of the week? Where the meetings in the catacombs the wrong thing to do? Should they have not got together 120 of them in the upper room? Is the instruction to not stop meeting together a wrong instruction, and meet together with whom? I understand the slant of what you say, many year ago a friend of mine really found a living relationship with Jesus, the people surrounding him said now you must give up your job. He was an internal auditor at the local brewery LOL. He asked me what I though, which thinking has not changed, I said stay right where you are, seem a good place to me for a follower of the Way. Just asking?

    Reply

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