Keeping It Real: Church without Feeling Fake or Awkward

About the Author
David Wagschal

A New Ecclesiology for a New Millennium? Part Two

Feeling out of Place?

Do you often feel a bit out of place in church? Do you feel like it’s somehow a bit of a game? That there is something perpetually a little fake or artificial about the whole thing? That it’s almost as if church is a play, and everyone has to stay in character? Everyone has to put on a “church mask”?

And have you ever found that if you don’t “keep up the appearances”, Christians have a genuinely difficult time dealing with you? It’s like you don’t compute? Anything outside the box gets ignored or excluded?

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Learning to Let Go: Towards a Church that Doesn’t Need to Control Everyone and Everything

About the Author
David Wagschal

A New Ecclesiology for a New Millennium? Part One

Christians are addicted to control.

It’s an extraordinary phenomenon. Those of us who’ve been in the church our whole lives may not even notice it, but Christians have this idea that we should control not only people’s ideas, beliefs, and religious practices – which, reluctantly, we might expect – but also their bodies, their relationships, and their politics. In its more extreme forms our desire to control can extend to manners, language, diet, emotions, even minute details of clothes and appearances. Look around a bit and you’ll see it everywhere. We’ve somehow gotten it into our heads that, to be Christian, we must control almost everyone and everything around us: society, morality, culture, politics – the list goes on.

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Church Dreams

About the Author
David Wagschal

Our series on homosexuality has got me thinking a lot about two things: truth and the church. Maybe more specifically, it’s got me pondering truth about the church.

One of the things we are trying to do on this blog is to offer a place where we can engage in some creative thinking about what the church is and where it’s going. We want to do this by providing a space for honest, open reflection.

This has got me thinking “ok David, so what really are your own beliefs and feelings about the church these days?”

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Homosexuality and the Church: getting it right (Part Two)

About the Author
David Wagschal

In the first part of this post I discussed what happens when we make the “big mistake”: when we confuse the church and the Gospel.  I suggested that the results are pretty dire — and that they constitute a key reason people are leaving the church.  But I ended by asking “how do we get church right?  Can we get it right?  Is church even important?”

Church is important and we can get it right!

In practice there is no question that Christians need community. In practice, if not inevitably, we hear the Gospel from other Christians. In practice, we need the beauty, the music, the inspiration, and sense of identity that churches provide. In practice, we need institutional structures to spread the Gospel. In practice, we need social spaces to live and struggle with the Gospel. In practice, we need support of others when our own faith goes cold, or when life takes a turn for the worse. In practice, even the hardships and struggle of Christian community can be important for nurturing our faith — i.e. the challenge of being church can be quite key.

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Homosexuality and the Church: getting it right

About the Author
David Wagschal

To get it right on the gay question, we’ve got to get the Bible right, but we’ve also got to get the church right. A huge amount of opposition to fully accepting gay people as Christians comes from misperceptions about what the church is and how it should function. In fact, even aside from the homosexuality question, there is probably nothing we need to re-visit today more than our understanding of the ecclesia.

The Big Mistake

The big mistake is to confuse the Gospel and the church – to think that the church is the Good News.

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