Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Thoughts on Toxicity and the Organic Church

Futuristguy's blog the other day inspired me and I spent a lot of time working over the idea of organicism in the church. I'll admit that due to a background that includes a great deal of biology I probably see the concept of organic church differently, but it made me think about the function of ecosystems in nature. And that lead to a protracted metaphor which served as fodder for my first sermon/teaching for the month of July. The gist of it is that the church is an ecosystem, and as such, it must be viewed as a whole and not as individual parts. That said, the parts which make up the whole serve the same types of functions as organisms in an ecosystem, and each helps to filter the ecosystem in order to maintain it. We share the burdens of the whole in order to maintain a healthy body. Below are some exerpts from the teaching which was centered on Galatians 6.

As I thought about Brad’s ideas of toxicity and the organic church, I started thinking about science and ecosystems. As living organisms we exist in an ecosystem and all organisms in an ecosystem are effected by the toxins in their given ecosystem. ie, oysters and red tide, lead and mercury in shell fish… God created the world as a natural filter. The toxins in an ecosystem are spread out so that the ecosystem survives. If too many toxins build up, balance is thrown off and parts of the ecosystem die and the system changes forever. The church is an ecosystem and as such, we must share the toxins that infect our ecosystem.

We have a responsibility as members of the body to share in the burdens of our brothers and sisters in Christ, and to work to restore the one’s who fall. But the church today does not do that. The church today back bites, gossips, and casts the fallen faithful out without a chance for reconciliation. The church does not see the body of the bride holistically. The church sees the body as an individual collection of parts. We worry about the finger, or the thumb or the big toe we, are but we don’t worry about the parts we’re not

. We have not only the ability to make changes in the world for the kingdom. We’ve been charged with that task. We are to go out and make disciples. Not merely robots who believe or say they believe, but functioning toes and fingers and nephrons and teeth; viable parts of blameless bride. We are supposed to be filters of the toxins helping to make the world a better place to live.

And I finished my teaching with this song which I learned from a missionary in Kansas City Missouri:

Brother let me be your servant
Let me be as Christ to you
Pray that I might have the grace to
Let you be my servant too

We are pilgrims on a journey
We are travelers on the road
We are here to help each other
Walk the mile and bear the load

I will weep when you are weeping
When you laugh I’ll laugh with you
I will share your joy and sorrow
Till we see the journey through

I will hold the Christ Light for you
In the night time of your fear
I will hold my hand out to you
And speak the peace you long to hear

When we sing to God in heaven,
We shall find such harmony
Born of all we’ve known together
Of Christ’s love and agony

Sister let me be your servant
Let me be as Christ to you
Pray that I might have the grace to
Let you be my servant too.


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