This morning I was searching my computer for a file that I couldn’t quite place. In the scheme of things, the file was for Sunday School and not one of those “State of the Nation” papers.
As I wandered through my files, I came across some essays I have written. Just getting out of my system what’s in my system.
In April of 2003 I created 10 statements from my reading of Exodus and Deuteronomy. Things like this:
Numbers 21– While out wandering — Interestingly, in the 40 years in the desert, the people were not just wandering around. They actually took over cities, conquered people, and settled in. In the end, two of the tribes found that this land was great, so they petitioned Moses to stay. This became their inheritance. — When we feel that we have been turned aside from a great victory (entering a promised land), we may still be involved in the continuation of the conquest as wander in the wilderness.
There were other files. I have a story on Joshua – an older man who has new neighbours move in – with two adorable children. The family is strangely Christian, unlike other Christians he has met before. The story goes on from there — but right now it’s still not done!
At the same time as I’m looking over my files, my wife and I start discussing an article in the Times (of London, of course) on people changing how they spend their money, moving from possessions to experience (via).
I started to stretch the thought. Church people are affected by the “experience” culture we live in. In one sense, people used to come to church for the product, the dogma, the theology that was the structure (possession) we wanted for our lives. Unfortunately many people figured as long as they had the “possession”, they were home free! No need for a church or the experience of working together as Christians.
Now most people want to come to church for relationships (experience). The journey is important and the “possessions” you pick up along the way are insignificant, not as important as the sense of an experience of God. In fact, you can walk out of the mall of life without picking up any “possessions”, as long as you have a good life and identify with a group of people who are “like-minded”.
Which begs the question —
Do experience and theology have to intersect for most people today? Have we now moved to both a “churchless” faith, and a “contentless” faith? Is that really any faith at all??