Thursday, April 13, 2006

Reforming others?!

As part of a church that is reformed and reforming, we can become consumed with the crusade. But it can quickly degenerate into seeking to reform others so that they aren't such a pain to minister to or with.

As presbyterians, presbytery can turn into the place where we try to get our brothers to conform to the form of godliness which we think rightly captures the gospel. Just last week a friend of a friend sent me the book Agape Leadership: Lessons in Spiritual Leadership from the Life of R.C. Chapman by Robert L. Peterson & Alexander Strauch. (Actually sending books is part of this fellow's ministry. They have a great outreach in Mormon and university settings through Christian literature and spiritual counseling called Community Christian Ministries based in Moscow, ID). All that to share a quote from the book about reforming others:

To reform the Church of God we should always begin with self-reform. Schisms and divisions will increase so long as we begin with reforming others. Wisdom is only with the lowly. - R.C Chapman

If we had more servants would we have so many ego clashes among "leaders"? As we celebrate our suffering servant this Holy Week, we can't forget what he told those posturing disciples: "whoever wants to be first among you must be slave of all." (Mk. 10.44)

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