Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Remodeling a Denomination, Church and Life

Those who follow this blog know that this past year has been one of transition for our family concerning our house situation. We sold our house of ten years and purchased an older home on property that we will divide and eventually build a new house. Our new older house was built it 1972, and looks it. Much of the house had been updated. The kitchen was vintage 1972. The cabinets were hideous. The kitchen and dining rooms were like a large, dark cave. Change was needed.

Our kitchen and dining room remodeling project are almost completed. Brenda planned the new kitchen design and cabinets. I have done all of the work – except the installation of the new granite counter tops. The new Brazilian cherry hardwood floors look great! The new kitchen cabinets look very nice. The granite countertops make the kitchen and dining rooms absolutely sparkle.

We had “hope” for our new home, kitchen and dining room. We saw possibilities. The transformation is outstanding. Our new older house will suit us fine while we build our “new” house in a year or two.

Our lives are a lot like a house. When a person accepts Christ as their savior and Lord their old house “the old self” needs to be torn down and replace with a new house/self. Over time that new self will change and mature. Constant updating will be needed. This Advent I have hope for all of our lives. Some will need that first change, others will need to update their “new self” in Christ. This Advent we each need to ask God to continue the transformation of our lives.

Our local churches/congregations are also like a house. Most have served the Kingdom of God over the years. People’s lives have been transformed through the ministries of those churches. Churches and congregations need to be transformed by God as time goes by. For some congregations there is a sense of hope, other congregations seem to have little hope. Transformation is possible but it is very difficult. The work can be very rewarding. Our house will not meet our future needs and some churches will not be able to meet current or future needs. A new “house” may be in order.

Denominations are also like a house. Most denominations have served the Kingdom of God over the years. People’s lives have been transformed through the ministries of these denominations. But times change. Is it possible to transform a denomination? I don’t think that it has ever been done. This doesn’t mean that there is no hope. Our hope does not reside in any denomination. Remember… denominations are not mentioned in scripture. To say that splitting a denomination is “dividing the body of Christ” is a crock! There are more denominations than I can count. The PCUSA almost never works the Assemblies of God, the Church of the Nazarene, the Southern Baptist Church or independent churches. The PCUSA is already dividing the body of Christ by refusing to work with all denominational and non-denominational bodies. There is great hope for the “body of Christ.”

This Advent is a time for hope: hope for our lives, for our congregations and for the body of Christ.


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