driscollthe other day i was locked in a room and forced to watch a 45 minute preach by Mark Driscoll [well, not quite locked and forced but strongly encouraged to by the presence of it being shown at a staff meeting i was required to attend] and since i have not been exposed to too much of his preaching [beyond the oh-so-much-smoke which i have heard enough times to realise there are some things about the way he does ministry that i am definitely not on the same page as] i decided to give him a chance and see what he had to say…

and by ‘say’ i clearly mean ‘shout’ cos the man shouts…

which in and of itself is not a sin, and so i tuned in to the shouting…

it was his opening speech for the recent Convergence conference and it was the way he explained different parts of the body of Christ, the church, that i really felt super helpful:

he used the analogy of place and border… the idea that Nation is a description of the boundaries of our faith where crossing them means you are no longer talking about following Jesus, but something else…

if you take that as a starting place then for me as someone who lives in Oakland at the moment, when i go and visit the next town or suburb, so Alameda or Berkeley, nothing changes too much – for the most part the context stays the same and so we will by and large do things the same – in fact people can move from Alameda to Berkeley without noticing too much difference.

then if you take it to the next level, when you cross a state boundary, things start to look different in some ways, but for the most part things look and feel and operate the same way. but there will be bigger changes – ways of doing things, focus of state, it might even have some laws that are different and so certain behaviours and attitudes will look different…

but when you cross a nation border then things look radically different – you might drive on a different side of the road, you will have a different currency, in most cases a different language – we just are not talking about the same thing any more – we will still be civil and loving to those people, but we will recognise that they are from a different country.

he definitely said it better than i’m explaining it here, but hopefully the idea comes through – he refers to different church group or demonisations, um denominations, as tribes and as long as we are in the same nation, then we are about the same thing – as we are in different states there may be some huge differences between how we look and how we do and say things and some of those we will not agree on, but as long as we agree on the basic necessities, we are still in the same family.

and as we come a little closer to within-state boundaries, the differences become even less and we might find ourselves collaborating a little more because our styles and ways of doing things look a lot more similar.

i guess what becomes important is defining the nation’s borders and being able to recognise what following Jesus means [some things like denying ones self, looking after the least of these around us, forgiveness of everyone who has hurt or offended us but also truths like Jesus being the only way to God etc] and to put less emphasis on all the things within the country border that seek to cause conflict between those of us who follow Jesus differently within there…

anyways, try find the talk, cos he did a better job, but like the picture of that and his focus on church unity… in this instance, i think the man speaks the truth…

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