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Friday, May 1, 2009

Friday Freelance: FULL Part II

Last Friday I shared my journey in a quest for truth, with the desire to feel spiritually Full. I went from being hungry because I'd yet to be fed enough, to finding what's good while still hungering for more of it.

Hunger drives the emergent church. I'm largely ignorant of the emergent church movement and may not change that. But I understand that their followers were left feeling empty and hungry by traditional churches. From what I've learned, emergent churches tend to emphasize those truths which counter past hurts, but do so at the expense of greater truths; they tend to elevate doing good to people above worship of God with truth.

Truth elevates God first. Jesus' curious way of elevating people is indirect, by bringing them low. The last will be first. The least will be the greatest. The one forgiven much knows great love. Jesus seeks out outcasts and makes us His. Our exaltation lies in reconciliation to God through Christ's blood, relationship with God and all its blessings, and the privilege of being counted among His lowly servants—without picking on other servants.

Picking on other servants has been a problem in those traditional churches which say, "We want you here but only because we expect you to become just like us, and if you don't we won't be sorry to see you go." I've seen this, and even got caught up in it for a while. (If I've yet to thoroughly eliminate it, it's not for lack of trying.)

The Bible describes the church as the body of Christ with varied members. Both John the Baptist and Jesus preached a message of repentance from sin, not conversion from personality.

Repentance of sin does change the way a person looks—on the inside. Those changes will show up on the outside in as many ways as there are people. A full church will have diversity, and it will always have room for improvement because sin and incomplete knowledge do not cease this side of heaven.

I admit that if I choose to look at them, revealing clothing and body piercings are a distraction. If embroiled in a debate over doctrine, I can choose to see another as a heretic and distance myself. But if I look at someone with love as a vital member of Christ's body, I see a person I don't want to live without.

Last Sunday I shared my heartbreak over the estrangement of my brother John from our family. The void he leaves never goes away. We no longer take a family photo that feels right. We don't have a get together where I don't feel his absence. Without him, our family isn't full.

There are a whole bunch of people who aren't in church because church left them feeling empty. Until we win them back, we won't be full either.

Feedback invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.


  1. True. When we truly fear God and understand the gift salvation is and what eternity means, is when we take on a burden for other peoples souls with a profound sense of urgency.

  2. Amen, I so agree my friend.

  3. Well said, Anne.

    I take delight in finding a sister or brother in Christ in all kinds of places and in all kinds of faces. Much diversity among believers exists in out in the "real world". In church, not so much.

    The diversity of God's kingdom is one thing I look forward to most in heaven. Until then, we can reach out and strive for unity here on earth.

    God bless you!


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