Faith is a Way of Life

I’ve been absent from the blog world for a few weeks due to my move from Colorado to New Jersey to begin serving as a preacher/minister with the Randolph Church of Christ.  It was an eventful move where nothing went as we had planned but we arrived safely in Dover, so all is well. 

I hope to get back in the rhythm of regular blogging as well as reading other blogs that I have links too.  As I start blogging again, I hope to keep sharing reflections from scripture and life as I try to practice theology and missiology in the real world…often doing a lousy job at it.  I hope and expect that some of these reflections will be things that are happening with the ministry the Randolph congregation is involved in.

In the meantime, I will leave you with a great paragraph from the introduction in An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith by Barbara Brown Taylor:

“In a world of too much information about almost everything, bodily practices can provide great relief.  To make bread or love, to dig in the earth, to feed an animal or cook for a stranger – these activities require no extensive commentary, no lucid theology.  All they require is someone willing to bend, reach, chop, stir.  Most of these tasks are so full of pleasure that there is no need to complicate things by calling them holy.  And yet these are the same activities that change lives, sometimes all at once and sometimes more slowly, the way dripping water changes stone.  In a world where faith is often construed as a way of thinking, bodily practices remind the willing that faith is a way of life.”   (p. xviii)

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3 responses to “Faith is a Way of Life

  1. Comment sent to me by email from DON COLE:

    I think it is great to be close to our brothers and sisters in Christ, and to think of our congregation as a close knit family. That pretty well describes the church of Christ at Randolph.

    However; I personally think we need to set our sights beyond that and learn to reach out to the world around us. I do not believe in Christian yellow pages, or other such seclusions from those who need to find Christ and truth in their lives.

    We (at Randolph) are quick to hospitality, and hard work, but slow really to teach and evangelize others. We need good leadership and teaching in this regard, beyond just being sociable, or just inviting someone to church, and functions, to show them how friendly we are. (Most ‘denominations’ are also friendly and active.) We need the skills to be able to sit down and study seriously with our friends and neighbors, in truth, or to help in that regard; i.e. Introducing and correcting correspondence courses, providing place for home devotions (studies in a small group with visitors), or whatever.

    I have read that many visitors do not return or remain in churches because they do not fit into a certain social group, or class. I believe that is true.

    I personally feel that we could be unconsciously insensitive to visitors who may be poor, handicapped or whatever, and we send the wrong message by prominently displaying our budget board up front. (Worship is about Christ, not about us and our budget board.)
    We cannot worship both God and money. Most households have a budget, but how many of them frame it and hang it over the mantle in their living rooms?

    I once related how I almost got my animation instructor (a renowned Disney animator during the Disney classic years) to attend a morning service. In response to my invitation, he said that he would come for a visit, and put a big check in the collection plate. The fact that he thought it was about money made/makes me very sad. When I told others about this, they did not understand. They thought that it would be wonderful if he would do that.

    Many years ago, at another congregation (in Florida) I was trying to help a person who was really down and out. To make his living, he was cutting lawns with a hand mower, and living in what looked to me like a closet, that opened out to the street sidewalk. I believe, he was not only down and destitute, but suicidal. He told me that he didn’t ask to be born. I told him about the Lord and His church, and brought him to church service with me. The sermon was all about “giving,” how we all need to give more money and just trust the Lord, the ‘widow’s mite’, and such. To this day, the experience makes me feel like screaming inside, whenever I think about it. The collection should have been for this person, not from him! Needless to say, I gave the preacher a piece of my mind! He replied, “Oh,–I didn’t mean HIM!” I said, “Then who were/are you preaching to?”

    I wonder how many people do not attend church because they feel they ‘cannot afford it’ or be “able to do their fair share”? (See the Lord’s wisdom here about selecting elders and deacons.)

    In the early church they took up collections for those in need. Today, I hear brothers, passing the collection plate, say to the congregation that we are “giving a portion of our income back to the Lord, not that the Lord really needs it, but because we need to know how to give.” (I don’t know what chapter and verses that comes from).

    Some churches teach tithing, which is not New Testament teaching. I believe that there is a difference between ‘tithing’, and New Testament love and stewardship. New Testament tithing is good for the ‘haves,’ but not good for the ‘have-nots.’ If a rich man puts 10% or 20 % of his income into the collection plate, while patting himself on the back; what is he doing with the other 80 or 90%? Is he using it in the name and glory of the Lord, or what? Is not 100% expected from us all?

    I believe it is also an underhanded way to keep out ‘undesirables’. I thank God we did not fall into that kind of false teaching. (We almost did, at Randolph!)

    Well, Rex, –I told you that I kind of got carried away here. LOL Now you know a little more about what makes this one particular member of the congregation at Randolph tick…

    God bless, –dc

  2. Hi Rex,

    Welcome aboard!

    Thanks for the phone call. All is well. I missed a whole night’s sleep, earlier, because of a H.S. project graduation I was working; at Rider University, just south of Princeton. Unfortunately, I woke up too late Sunday morning.

    I expect that you and family have your hands full moving in and getting organized and acclimated here in Randolph/Dover, NJ.

    I believe that we have great things ahead of us towards the growth of our local congregation, and also to the teaching of truth to all the nations. The Holy Spirit guided us in our selection of Rex K. and Laura Butts and family…

    –in Christ, dc

  3. This is a nice blog message, I will keep this idea in my mind. If you add more video and pictures because it helps understanding 🙂

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