At times a strange anomaly may be observed in the church. Some of the busiest Believers are the least filled with God’s spirit and life and at times the most hostile to attempts to have more of God. Godliness in their view is ‘what they do’ rather than who they are. This despite the fact that we had no say in our creation or in our redemption. We received our inheritance on both counts as an act of grace. Our inheritance is that we are sons rather than workers and slaves.
The result of this perversion of the ‘missional’ mindset is a certain bareness of congregational life. And the promotion of a ‘kingdom’ that is not the Kingdom of God. But rather a kingdom of this world. If you have ever come under the influence of a leader locked into the accumulation of ‘heads as the church’ syndrome, you will know what I mean. Like Bill Gunster, not his real name, a pastor who promoted home groups as an improvement in church life – but at the same time worked into the mechanics of his model the notion that such groups should continually split and multiply into more groups.
If ever there was an example of ‘manufacturing product’ in the Christian Industry, this would be it. Such a mechanical artifice contradicts the notion of community and family on which the Kingdom of God is based. It does so because being as formulaic as it is, it is a function of the letter that birthed it. An institution is not the Body of Christ any more than a rib cage is you. The valley of dry bones is not the Kingdom of God. ‘I am in my Father, and you are in me.’ As Jesus multiplied we are the Body of Christ. The life of the Kingdom is disseminated by the sons of God – sons whose being is interwoven with the persons of the trinity.
MORE THAN INSTRUMENTALIST
In Christ’s Kingdom we are what we are, not as a result of what we do but as the effect of who we are. We are sons of God and this sonship arises from our being – from our being one with God. It is impossible to have an authentic concept of ourselves or of the church if we are teaching separation with its old and non-living way. Christian Kettler says it well when he writes,
‘A “purpose-driven” theology reflects a view of the church that is only instrumentalist: the church is defined by what it does, the so-called “missional church,” rather than by what it is, the body of Christ, incorporated into Christ, living an ontological connection to the Triune God.’ (1) In this connection – this union that you did not achieve but which is nevertheless yours - you are a son of God. You plant sons and multiply the Kingdom rather than perpetuate institutions.
‘On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you’ John 14.20 NIV.
OUR TRINITARIAN FELLOWSHIP
As a new covenant Believers we need to be aware that we are one with God in the same intimacy that each member of the trinity is with each other. One with unlimited life, everything we do releases the spirit-life of God, whether this be in our interaction with each other or in healing sick folks in Jesus’ name.
(1) Kettler, Christian D. The Breadth and Depth of the Atonement: The Vicarious Humanity of Christ in the Church, the World, and the Self: Essays, 1990–2015 (p. 59). Pickwick Publications, an Imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers. Kindle Edition.