Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Paper or Plastic?

Our experience with churches over the years generally falls into grocery bag categories--paper or plastic.

Most reformed churches look perfect on paper--all the right doctrines trumpeted, the right books plugged, the right distinctives affirmed. The church sounds absolutely great, until you spend some time there. Then you find that they're paper-thin, coldly impenitent, and over their need for the centrality of the Gospel. It's hard to live in a paper house, and so not many do.

Most folks are part of the Plastic Church of Evangelicalism. There you have plastic smiles to match plastic "statements of faith". This is the big tent where anything goes, a fitting place for Cirque Du Soleil worship. These are often "warm" places, partly due to their friendliness, but also because they give more heat than light.

If Paper, be stationary, formal but inviting. In other words, be known more for reforming than for being reformed. And if Plastic, be molded into something of value. Plentiful is not the goal. Plastic bags are plentiful, but filled with trash and things babies do.

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