[CS-FSLUG] OT: How to Get Fired from a Seminary

Josiah Ritchie josiah at josiahritchie.com
Mon Sep 10 12:45:37 CDT 2012

Thank you David.

I feel I must say though that the problem is honestly sufficiently
understood. What is lacking is the action to change it.

I have been personally guilty of standing back and pointing out the
consumerism of others in the past, failing to recognize that my own words
revealed another side of consumerism. In my own critique, I have often
pointed out everyone else's problems and how "the church" had issues, but
at the same time I failed to do anything about it. I was a consumer
dissatisfied with a product and standing back ridiculing "those
responsible" like a disgruntled sports fan yelling at the coach on the TV

I have been convicted of that and share it in hopes that others will join
me in recognizing and turning away from that. Let's change this! The only
reason it remains is because those who have been given sight for the
problem by God have failed to use the gift of sight to impact their
community and help them around it. God has given the church all it needs,
we just fail to use the resources. As geeks, our analytical brains are
gifted with extra understanding and discernment. That's why we're good at
this stuff. We must share this with our community (in grace, humility and
love, that's critical!) because they are gifted elsewhere. If we don't
we're like a hand cursing the nose for not properly stopping the fall of
the body. Granted, we also tend to be introverts and the typical Christian
environment does subtly and unknowingly discourage contribution of the
introvert. This means we must get out of our comfort zone. That's no fun,
but it is also no excuse for neglecting the gifts God gave us. He blesses
those who follow him, it may be rough, but His pleasure is sufficient.

Okay... I'll really get off the soap box this time, maybe. :-)


On Mon, Sep 10, 2012 at 1:14 PM, <davidm at hisfeet.net> wrote:

> Brother Josiah,  You have explained a set of problems very well, and you
> are right on. What men see (even God fearing dedicated christian men and
> women) as the church is not the church at all. "...the disciples were
> called Christians first in Antioch." Disciple = learner or follower, so
> the word "chistian" was applied to them because they were learners, or
> followers of Christ. And Christ was revealed through them, and in them,
> and among them.
> A very great deal of what goes on in the name of Chistianity, is mere
> worldly culture. There never was an hour or a day or a   drachma or dollar
> spent (not in the whole new testament) on a building to meet in! And
> although "...God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily
> prophets, thirdly teachers...."  (I Corinthians 12:28), there is no
> textual, or contextual evidence that any church ever had a 'head pastor'
> or more than one christian church in any city. We need to follow Christ,
> and view everyone by the standard of following Christ.
> >
> > I'd humbly suggest the problems is that there is a them/us setup. We have
> > a bunch of consumers taking what the leaders produce rather than being a
> > "we" group. Our culture has taught us to consume and our Christian
> culture has taught those in leadership to serve sacrificially by a
> generation that served in a far less consumer driven culture and does
> not see the change. The result is that consumers suck up all the free
> stuff they can get from the producers. The producers produce materials
> (programs, studies, sermons, "answer the phone no matter what") that
> worked well in the past, often not recognizing that they can never
> produce enough for this generation. They were taught to give them all
> they need. The people who taught them may have
> > even ridiculed those producers who did setup limits to their production.
> > Producers who recognize the need to protect become defensive not
> > understanding the "suck 'em dry" mentality. Besides, it is also an easy
> > trap to fall into being puffed up by constant need and see one self
> > as indispensable to the immediate health of the church. I think it also
> > doesn't help that in some places "discipleship" is another word for Bible
> > study rather than active spiritual mentorship. We are all to blame in
> some
> > regard for what we the church is today. We must all be a part of the
> > solution. Christian consumers are earnestly blind in their sin consuming
> > what they have been taught within the walls of the church to consume.
> With
> > the urgency of "come to church" across the generations we've taught that
> > the building or the leaders are the church rather than the group which
> > supports the ideas that you go act out your faith (consume the service)
> in
> > some building and then can step away from it and move on. We've been
> > building this problem for generations. Will this problem stop in this
> > period of time?
> >
> > So what do we do about it?
> > We (you and I) must lead the Christian consumers to become servants of
> the
> > community instead of become their servants. Their consumption can be
> > stopped from draining the resources of the church and redirected into
> > Christian service. I suggest that the service should be directed toward
> > local and global mission. But the how do we find the time? I think this
> > comes from recognizing where we, the church, is failing to currently
> > affect
> > change and close that down, even if it did work 20 years ago. Then move
> > the
> > leaderships from an inward focus to inviting those inside to serve
> > alongside them in an outward focused way. Feed the hungry, clothe the
> > naked
> > and paint the local school's hall ways, hold a field day for the kids in
> > the neighborhood, get to know your neighbors and find ways to care for
> > them, pay for your gas inside to build a relationship with the hindu guy
> > behind the counter and then share the gospel with these people. Come back
> > to church and share what God is doing and find ways to support each
> other.
> > Community ministry is not someone else's job, it's my job. The blessings
> > from sharing this will flow into others, pray that they'll get infected
> > and
> > want similar blessings. Pray that their fears will subside. Invite them
> to
> > do ministry with you like fixing a neighbor's shed or come join a
> > neighborhood play date. Learn who your neighbors are and what they enjoy.
> > Engage them in conversation about their passions.
> >
> > God has blessed me and my family as we've started down this path. It is
> so
> > worth it. I can say from experience that it sure beats complaining and
> > causes more change.
> >
> > /me dismounts soap box...
> > JSR/
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