I moved. The church didn't.
A quick note to my regular readers: expect some long posts from me now and then. My bread and butter will still be shorter riffs, but sometimes, I find I have more to say. Thanks for reading. On to the show.
It’s been a while since I wrote for a spell about the church, my relationship to it, and what it all means for me. But, as I notice headlines of debates and votes, gay marriage and other issues, I finally realize how my life as an entrepreneur makes being a part of church unrealistic.
The church has failed to innovate. And I find that spiritually depressing.
Go ahead and debate whether your ministers can perform weddings in states that recognize marriage between same-sex couples. Go ahead and debate if women can preach, for God’s sake. Go ahead and debate about abortion, welfare, immigration, and social policy.
And while you debate and vote, just know that the world has already had this debate and moved on.
The world is moving. You are standing still, afraid and confused. The world turns and you’re missing out.
I have no patience for organizations (religious or not) that stand still when truth and evidence is staring them in the face, beckoning them to get along. I have no tolerance or time for groups that stand still when the house is on fire and it’s time to get out.
I don’t go to church anymore not because I don’t connect with God or I don’t need community or I don’t care about my or my family’s spiritual development. I don’t go to church anymore because your sermons and your polity are stuck in the past during a time when innovation wins, builds community, and makes a difference. Going to church would be stunting my individual and spiritual growth. And I’m pretty sure this is the opposite of what the Spirit wants.
What I find unbelievable is the belief you have about love, the way you define who can experience it, who can commit to it, and who can share it. What I find unbelievable are many beliefs you have that contradict science, progress, and reality.
As an entrepreneur, I’m not looking for a capitalistic, business-like experience for my faith. But I am looking for something that’s eager to move where the Spirit and the world are going. I’m looking for a place that understands the needs of the market rather than passing off its own needs as those of the market. I’m looking for a place that isn’t afraid to invest in excellence and meaning. I’m looking for a place that is willing to take a risk on itself.
I see no risk in today’s church. In fact, church might be the one risk-less place that remains in today’s postmodern world. And a church without an ethic of risk is nothing more than a country club.
So my challenge to the church to appeal to me and others: take some risks. Lead - don’t merely react to - the debate. Welcome the outsider, dream scary dreams, and be willing to pivot, for God’s sake.