Monday, September 25, 2006

What to say?

How does one prove they're alive?

During this last week I've been told my church is dead. It seems the person saying it believes that only certain people are dead, but if only certain members of the church are dead doesn't that mean there is some life? Or is this a crazy Terry Schivo case where you're dead but considered alive only by certain technicalities?

The guy that's decided we're dead "tested" us Sunday to see if we're alive and apparently we didn't worship during the song service enough to convince him we were alive.

Thinking back over the service, I honestly don't know what he wanted. And it may be that he'd say I don't know because I'm dead as well. I honestly don't know. I can think of few circumstances in my life that have been more confusing than this one.

It's strange to be told you're dead. And it prompts me to ask, how do I prove I'm alive? I bear fruit. The church is growing, so I would have assumed that constitutes growth, and dead things don't grow anything except mold. But if church growth doesn't constitute life, isn't all other claims to life absolutely subjective?

If I don't raise my hands am I dead? Not necessarily. Almost anyone would tell you that life is on the inside. How would you know if I'm dead or not? What is the scale you're judging me on?
The legalists are almost easier. At least I'm judged on things I can see and know. I know if they're mad because my hair is short or my ears are pierced. How on earth can I please someone that judges the actions on my heart?

Paul states that he was all things to all people and I want to imitate that. But it's certainly difficult when it is my heart and very salvation that is being judged. In the confusion of my mind right now, that leads me down yet another path I'm asking are the living dead saved? If our church is full of dead people, does that mean he's judged those people to be unsaved?
While testing us did he look into the room and see something that proved we were all damned to hell because of the hardness of our hearts? Surely spiritually dead people can't have Christ in their hearts.

I can't imagine how someone could look at these people that I love so dearly and see death. I see problems, and humanity, I see pride and selfishness. But in all that I see people that I could call when things got tough. I see simple people that accept me as I am, without the necessity that my sink be empty of dirty dishes, or that my floor be vacuumed. While I know those things don't make them saved, the sins I see in their lives don't necessarily make them unsaved.

There's a part of me that wonders if the problem lies with the person that thinks they're all dead. Would they have come up with a different answer to "what must I do to be saved?". But at the same time I ache for that person. If you can't see Christ all around you, then you generally don't see Him hardly anywhere in this sinful awful world. That might not be the case for him, but it might be. And that's hard to deal with.
Even if I'm dead, I don't want him to feel that way.

1 comment:

One Sided said...

My church is also dead. We are dead because we do not have a service centered around Praise music, we are dead because we do not have a ministry that reaches out to people with aids, we are dead because our youth program is dead, and on and on.
But the family that left because we have no Service centered around Praise music are/were members of the orchastra. I did ont hear them say they would help start a Praise band.
The family that left because we had no ministry to people with Aids, whors in the medical field, yet they did not start a ministry to help people with aids.
THe family who is leaving because our youth program is nto what it needs to be for their children, never volunteered to be active in our youth program.
So I am left to wonder what life is? Is it the fact that our church serves us and is home to a vietnameese church and a French speaking African church a sign of life. Is providing Christmas for almost 200 people every year a sign of life? Is the deacons mowing grass for elderly widows a sign of life.
I'll admit there is a lot wrong with out little church, but it is not suffering from death. It has a strong heart and those of us who are an active part of the this body of Christ and feel the life it pumps.
Perhaps death is in being cut off or not being a part of. Perhaps your friend is big toe and your body of Christ already has all the big toes the body needs. Or perhaps he is an ear that wants to be a big toe.