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By JASON SWAN CLARK (Jason and I have known one another since the emerging church days, and we contributed to a book with Kevin Corcoran some years back). He gave me permission to repost this — part of a project he’s working on.
“We don’t go to church, we are the church” is at times a well-intentioned claim by some, and at others, a fig leaf for those who have given up on the church to hide behind. Either way, it is ultimately a damaging and self-harming assertion.
Beings - God - Garden - Eden - Adam
Human beings have been hiding away, withdrawing from God and one another since the garden of Eden. And, like Adam and Eve, we Christians are very good at making excuses for withdrawing, believing the lies we tell ourselves that underpin such backing away. The internal stories are often these: ‘I need a break, I need to focus on my kids/family, I want time to myself, I have to get this marathon/triathlon/course done’, etc. We then succumb to, and placate, any doubts we might have about our stories with more fabrications. ‘I can get back to church later’, ‘it won’t affect me’, and, even worse, ‘this is what’s best for me’. Such stories are, at best, fantasies, fairy tales and myths. At worst, they are mendacities that destroy God’s work in us and the world. Satan is indeed the father of lies, prowling around looking to devour us. His greatest ploy and tactic has not been a full-frontal assault on belief; instead it has been the insidious entropy of attendance. A lion secures its prey by first isolating it, so it is then free to devour it.
The lie of not going to church is the most destructive and isolating falsity of all. For at its heart is an ontological dissembling, with the separation of being...
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