'tis true... no more B&F at B&E's house

Bread and Fish will be no more after this Thursday. Tonight, we have a going-away party for Josh and Zena. Saturday, we move them to Mansfield, which is an hour and a half or so north. I think originally I was sad about Bread and Fish ending. I mean, here were vested relationships. Here was a venue where I saw God work, where I saw people work, where I saw community work. Then I felt okay with it--everyone was moving on to other things. Now, I'm not so sure--again. It's not that people can't find other things that work, other places where they "meet God." I guess it's that I'm subtly becoming more catholic in my viewpoints. I don't mean Catholic like paying homage to Mary or anything. I just mean that whereas before I think I really did believe that if you just had a Bible and a mountain- or ocean-side, you could be a solid Christian. I don't think that anymore. Originally (with the apostles) the organization of Christianity was carved from the rock of a communitarian (not Communist) Jewish tradition. They took from the example of Jesus and their own Jewish traditions. Jesus spent time alone and with people; as did the prophets of old. Jesus didn't state that being rich or powerful was evil per se, but rather that it is a corrupting influence--making it tougher to get to heaven than it is for a camel to squeeze through the eye of a needle--just like Isaiah preached. His life and death were both a ministry of sacrifice--even more so than the prophets. And when confronted with religious heirarchy (e.g., the Pharasees, the Saducees, the scribes, the moneychangers, the evil kings and queens, lost priests, military despots, etc.), both Jesus and the prophets got really mad. If our Leader and his predecessors so obviously lived a life of public sacrifice and the betterment of the least and the lost, can we really hold to an individualistic faith where our main concerns are our own safety and security? Where there is little difference between the operation of a church and a corporation? Where we create heirarchical ladders for people to climb inside the church? Where power and capital are in the hands of a few people most of the time and in the hands of most people the least amount of time? I'm not arguing for Christian socialism; I just don't see why Protestantism has to be so capitalistic, individualistic, driven by bigger congregations who require bigger buildings, cushier seats, more famous speakers, greater varieties of cappuccinos in their church cafes, wilder powerpoint presentations, louder music, higher payrolls for their professional ministers...why we think we're doing the world a favor when we hold huge conferences to talk about world missions or local discipleship instead of spending half the money actually training a few dozen people and then sending them out--fully funded--into the missions field.... There's something about the production of it all that seems counterproductive and not quite in sync with the gospel. But that's just me. All that to say that now I wonder if Bread and Fish should continue in some different way. Perhaps the same people (with some additions) but with a different mission. More focused on what John Wimber called "Doin' the Stuff" and less focused on growing in numbers or having "awesome times of worship." Worthship seems to be a lifelong sacrificial process, but we seem to try to compress it into a half-dozen songs sung multiple times each, a cool guitar or djimbe solo, and some agonized pleas for God to please "show himself" to us--individually and emotionally of course. I sound harsher than I mean to. Though all who wander are not lost, I wonder where I am going.


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