Monday, May 24, 2010

why some people just don't "do church"

The following comprises part of my more recent thoughts regarding modern church practices. This is not an attempt to criticize or be argumentative.

No matter how you slice it, modern church practices have their roots in pagan culture (mostly Greek and Roman) and not in the vibrant life of Christ that indwells his Body. For the last 1800 years, humanity has decapitated the Body, leaving the Head safely in heaven so that we needn't be much concerned with His attempts to direct the functioning of his members. Our traditions call for only a select few members to function; a few "mouths" turn the rest of the Body into one giant Ear. Thanks to our traditions, few other types of organs are even possible within the assembly. Our traditions nullify His Life. We have created church practices that are, for the most part, sterile, cold, efficient, arm's-length and, quite frankly, boring.

Christ doesn't want us to "go to church." Christ wants us to BE the church: an organism of many members, *all* of whom function (instead of passively spectating), an organism directed by Him in every aspect of its life.

Why don't some people "do church"? In my opinion, it's because they aren't able or aren't being allowed to function. Because the every-member functioning of the Body has been inhibited or outright forbidden for nearly two millennia, these people (my past self included) don't even know that they're meant to be able to function.

I'll just say it: They've been brain-washed--by others who have themselves been brain-washed--into believing that "mutual edification" (see Hebrews) means showing up at a church building, listening to a sermon, singing a few songs, and chatting amiably afterward before someone decides it's time for everyone to leave so the building can be locked up.

The Christocentric definition of "church" includes so much more than an efficient, convenient "worship service" and friendly, superficial conversation on a Sunday. "Church" means Body, and that means Life: the Life of Christ, continuously, day-by-day, minute-by-minute, in an active, vibrant community in which the members are completely and irrevocably interwoven with each other. And until we rediscover how to live this Life, until we start plumbing the depths and riches of the fullness of Christ, more and more of us are going to stop wanting to "do church."

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

announcing "how to build an e-book" (aka book comments 27)

Heads up, friends, fellow bloggers, lurkers, various, and sundry! Somebody has written something just for you, and I'm here today to share that good news with you. Sha-ZAM!

There's a lot of advice out there on the Internet these days (I suppose you've noticed), especially concerning writing, selling said writing, and marketing said writing. Specifically, folks are telling other folks to Blog! Collect posts into an e-Book! Sell the e-Book and watch the dough come rolling in, no pun intended!

*ahem* Sorry. I got a bit carried away there for a second.

But that's 'cause there's an exciting new product available...a product telling you HOW to put together an e-Book and get it out there to a reading public. See, there's a lot of advice being flung about with cyberspace abandon--and yet very little practical help to get you on that glorious e-Book path to satisfying accomplishment.

And that's where my friend Aaron enters the picture. Aaron is this hard-working, hugely brilliant guy who has bent his considerable writing talents toward offering the exact kind of help all you wannabe e-Bookers need. His most recent creation, "How to Build an e-Book" gives you a step-by-step process from start to finish. In this, his own e-Book, Aaron answers your questions, details your e-Booking process, and even soothes your doubts about your own ability to do this thing. "How to Build an e-Book" is exactly what it promises to be, and more.

I'm not just talking out of loyalty to a good friendship. I've read Aaron's book--and though I never had interest in writing an e-Book of my own, the fun process he outlines and the challenge he presents convince me it would be worth my while to try this myself! Plus, reading Aaron's work is just a great time in general, because he's a skilled wordsmith with a great sense of humor and a quirky personality that shows through in every line of his writing.

Details and purchasing info are here. What's way cool is that Aaron is offering a launch-week discount code, SYLLABLES, which is good for 25% off any purchases! The code expires on Sunday night (May 9th), so git it while the gittin's 25% off!

If you're still wondering if this might be for you, I recommend Aaron's blog post, in which he describes the genesis of his project and what "How to Build an e-Book" can do for you.

Happy reading!