The last bullet is an important note about an announcement after worship this Sunday. ALSO, Men’s Ministry this Saturday at 8:00a. Join us for breakfast and provocative discussion on a topic we’ll leave unmentioned for now.
Some background on Sunday school: my concern has been to address why biblically minded, theologically conservative churches—which tend to be pretty careful about family and kids—still lose their children. Part of the answer is that for several decades western Christianity has been moving away from the spiritual formation of souls toward teaching aimed at personal happiness and fulfillment. The result has been a couple generations of believers more interested in subjective happiness than the imitation of Christ and the strengthening of his Church. Kids figure out pretty quickly that if the real goal is personal happiness, the Church is hardly relevant or necessary.
But in the most conservative churches, like ours, there’s this other deadly thing: we’ve built a culture in which we expect kids to become something that we ourselves are not. When the gap between what we profess (at home and in Church) and who we are is not addressed, kids are at first wounded and embittered, but later they’re just cynical and disinterested. So there has to be a conversation that cultivates greater honesty, Christlike humility, a co-laboring with our kids (in seeking God and fighting sin), and in general, an honest pursuit of God on chastened rather than triumphalist terms. And it’s not just parenting. This kind of honesty should govern our marriages and relationships in the body of Christ.
Above all, we need to be careful to not congratulate ourselves on having Christian character, when in fact all we have is intellectual assent to ideas. Theology is, sadly, often a long way from ethics. If we want our lives to please God, they must look like the life of Christ: honest, sacrificially loving, pure in heart (godly), and embracing the way of the Cross when necessary.
This week we move on to the role of women in the Church, and why egalitarianism vs. complementarianism is the wrong debate (it caters to our own cultural moment much more than to the narratives and language of Scripture). I think it will keep you interested.
Finally, after worship this Sunday we’ll announce that the officers have been considering a request from a registered sex offender who would like to worship with us. He has served out his prison sentence and is living in a transitional Christian community. We have met with him, also with law enforcement (his Community Corrections Officer), his counselor, and the leader of his community/housing situation. Shiv has taken the lead on this and done excellent work, and he and our own Seattle cop, Wes Buxton, have been very thorough. However, we will not act on this without your questions, input and counsel. Sunday’s announcement will be mostly about the meaning of the Gospel, in this man’s life and ours, and an upcoming meeting time (Friday, June 14) devoted to your concerns.
Such a gift to have this kind of weather in May and June! Hope you are able to enjoy it.