There is an excellent post that most of the few readers of this blog have probably already read on Pernell Goodyear's weblog. I was going to comment there, but I hate posting huge comments and I equally hate trying to pare down what I was going to say to the point that it makes no sense anyway.
I love the honesty of Pernell's vision of the western church. He like many others sees that there is a spiritual pathogen at work in the body which is weakening its ability to be a missional force in society. I use the term pathogen because it refers to a microorganism which cannot be seen without a microscope. The pathogens at work in the body are also invisible to the naked eye and can only be seen with spiritual insight. At the point of discovery is when a curative course of action is decided upon by those in charge of the care.
I guess it is at this point that I usually swerve away from the pack. This would be both packs. For the most part the problems arises for me when the course of action means amputation. Unfortunately this usually follows closely on the heels of a diagnosis of the problem. We decide to carve away a part and once separated we begin treatment in the fashion of our choosing, whether it be fewer programs, agenda-lessness, full bore programing, or just a newer building (close to the inner city, of course)(sarcasm). Here is where the irony lies for me. We all tend to agree that God is the builder of His church and yet.....we wonder. We say He is the great Shepherd and yet.....will He? We believe the scripture says 'one' and yet.....who makes up the 'one'??
The point of this is not to critique any of the treatments that are out there, it is simply to ask why there always has to be an amputation prior to the cure? I wonder if we were to be so easily diagnosed and treated would we gladly recieve it? If our lives were to be percieved so clearly and dealt with in this same manner, would we see it as love?
I believe that the body, just like me, has many ills and problems and yet I trust Christ to complete what He has begun in me; begun by what I know had to be boundless mercy. I also believe that there will be people doing things that I will not understand in the name of Christ, just as the disciples complained of. Yet Christ said that if they are not against Him then they are for Him. I also trust that He will continue to soften me so that I too may look past and see the mercy that has saved others as it has saved me, that He will help them as He helps me.
I want to bless Pernell as He follows what He sees the Father doing, because Dad sees it and it is good.