Church and Communism

Sometimes I think that the church (the way we practice it–a pastor-less community under the headship of Christ) is ideologically much like communism.  On paper it looks good, but once you put it into practice, craziness is bound to ensue.

I don’t mean to sound negative about the way we’ve chosen to live–in the church, as the church–except that I do.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my brothers and sisters in Christ, and I love that we are trying to walk this road together.  I only wonder if we’ll work out, if we are “working it out,” with much the same detachment I might look on a some sociological experiment.

Well, I say that I am detached, but that’s not true.  I am very a-ttached.  Just doing some wondering is all…

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6 Responses to Church and Communism

  1. Pingback: Our Composting God: Making Meaning of the Mess « zoecarnate

  2. Peter K Bell says:

    Thanks for this post, Jasmin!
    I have also read Mike’s comment, and I have a beautiful kitchen-scrap-composter in my back yard, much like the lovely photo he included in his post. This composter is one of the few reminders I keep around here of my extensive green-Canadian past.
    The special thing about that past (=my personal “compost”) is that over 30 years ago, a bunch of fanatical zealous Spirit-led Christian post-church believers set out into the wilderness, in Canada, South America, Alaska, and other places, to set up the Kingdom of God in practice, establish fellowships with multiple local ministry and restored apostles and prophets according to the genuine New Testament pattern under the direct headship of Christ, submit to His government and His purifying work in our hearts….
    You’ll never guess what happened! So I have to tell you. But it’s easy to do because I can use your words here: “much like communism…looked great on paper (and from the pulpit)…but in practice, craziness…”
    Yep! That’s what happened. And a lot of what we put so much time and energy–and a lot of folks’ life-savings–into has now become, well, just so much compost, much of which is still too “green” (= too much caustic acid) to yet be of use in nourishing new life and growth in other garden spots.
    Hey–I am NOT telling you my tales to discourage y’all! In fact, my story is one of the victory of the Spirit of Christ over the petty bickerings (“Which one will be the greatest?”) and even serious control issues and abuses that we fell into in our “move of God.” I do have to tell you that the structures we built have mostly fallen apart, the wineskins burst, the fellowships broken down. But the life of Christ that was planted back then is still alive and well and fruitful in many places where Jesus has caused it to be re-planted, transplanted, etc.
    So this is really a tale of courage and hope–not that the current form of house-church “way of doing things” that you are enjoying (??) is destined to survive for a millenium or so. (What I saw when I visited your home looked lovely to me, and very viable–and I did see some of that by the Spirit–but of course I don’t see the daily behind-the-scenes working of “stuff” that would naturally cause you to do some wondering!) But the life of Christ-in-you is a reality that you are doing your best to share with one another, and the very attempt has God’s blessing (and my prayer support) behind it.
    Richest blessings and love in Jesus,
    Peter

  3. tyler says:

    the best way to see if it works in practice would be to try it. to be honest a house-church is really just a bible study without the big building to go to on sundays.

    but anyways, i attend a church that is similar to a house church (maybe the only difference is that we dont meet in a house) and we have a pastor. its very similar to the church i attended (grace in maryland heights, mo) previously. the only difference is that we are able to really share our gifts and voice our thoughts due to such a small gathering. i dont think that we should get rid of “big churches” but i do think that meeting in small groups and letting everyone share is great for spiritual growth.

    really, i guess what is your definition of a ‘house-church’? im not saying that we shouldnt have direction or a pastor, but to respond to peter’s comment, how many ‘traditional’ ministries or churches or bible studies have fallen apart or lost sight not because their approach was wrong but their hearts were wrong? you can attempt a good thing and still sin/miss the point in the process.

    I think it is a little hasty to say that those types of churches dont work and i would think that there are many styles of worship and preaching that are abnormal yet work. as long as they are not going out of what the bible teaches. also…didnt the early church function in a ‘house-church’ sort of way?

    (sorry for the bad grammar and punctuation)

  4. Jenny says:

    Your new blog is verrrrrrrrrrrry pretty.

  5. Jason says:

    Jasmine,

    we met once nearly 3 years ago or longer. However, your writing and your life are a great addition to this planet. Do you have any poems I could read…I’m looking for inspiration.

  6. Nikita says:

    Jasmine,

    Honesty is so beautiful! Good and pure honesty. I know I’m late in reading your blog, but I plan on keeping up. Keep writing!

    Seriously……I’m so refreshed by honesty!:-)

    I’ve come to the conclusion that church does not work…..I wonder if trying to evaluate its effectiveness on any level is absurd. 1st – Jesus’ most deep and abiding works inside of his people don’t often look like much on the outside. 2nd – I think there are seasons – you can have a solid group of imperfect people who genuinely love the Lord be doing great one month and then find themselves struggling the next. Jesus’ work in the human heart cannot and should not be measured by human standards of success. Sure – there should be fruit – but we have to understand that the metaphor of fruits is a profound one in that it fruits are seasonal. A functioning church, I think, are ones that can love and praise the Lord even when its hard – without being crazy or legalistic.

    Our gospel is amazing isn’t it. Whenever I try to evaluate the church on a human level, I read Jesus’ parables. His parables are utterly counter-intuitive and demonstrate the fact that his grace and love are not based on works. Awesome.

    Okay…I’m soooo sorry for babbling. You stirred me up, girl! Keep writing.

    Your sister,
    Nicole

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