Tuesday, August 24, 2010

If You Challenge the Status Quo...

Whenever you challenge the status quo, you will receive mixed reactions. Some people will support what you are doing, while others will not. The norm is that those who have the most prestige and/or power in the present will not want things to change. Also, those who feel very comfortable with how things are will not like anyone who "rocks the boat." We certainly know that Jesus was not in favor of the status quo, and the religious leaders wanted Him dead for it.

I'm not equating Christ's death with challenging the status quo in the church. However, we can learn from the hatred Christ faced that when we begin asking difficult questions and pointing out inconsistencies, we will face resistance (I'll also say that the attitude we take in striving for change in the church will help matters immensely).

If you open your bibles and then look at your church, you will most likely see some inconsistencies. In some churches there are few; in others there are almost too many to count. When you point these things out, the following ten things will happen from at least some people:

-You will not be welcomed.

-You will be scorned.

-You will be talked about behind your back.

-You will be ignored.

-It will be labeled divisive.

-You won't be trusted anymore.

-You will face rejection.

-You will be told that you just don't understand.

-You will be told to trust those in authority.

-You will be told that it was that way then, but it is this way now.

I apologize if this post seems negative in tone. I really don't want it to sound that way. It's just that most churches in this country need very significant changes to take place. If we encourage change, we will face resistance in a very significant way. We must be prepared for this. May we be gracious when the time comes.

8 comments:

Aussie John said...

Eric,

You are being too hard on yourself, my friend. Acknowledging reality is certainly not negative!

I understand, only too well, the truth of what you are writing, but the question must always be asked about the willingness of ourselves and our loved ones, to pay the price of being an agent of change.

There is only one voice you must heed!

Eric said...

John,

The difficult thing is trying to remain united while bringing about biblical change. When you run into people who refuse to let change happen, it is hard to know what to do next.

llamapacker said...

I have faced a lot of that reaction and feeling, Eric. I joined the system as an elder and am trying to insert some modifications and ideas at a low conflict level. Sometimes seeds take a long time to show growth and fruit.

Eric said...

llamapacker,

I'm glad to hear that you are working for change. I agree that sometimes it can happen positively over time. That can be very effective. God bless as you do it.

Steve Scott said...

You also may be looked at with incredulity as if your suggestions are some kind of utopian pipe dream that are completely beyond possibility - even if they're in the bible.

Eric said...

Steve,

I hadn't thought of that one, but you are right. How sad that some of today's leaders would settle for less than the best - the model set forth for us right there in the bible. No wonder we have so many problems in most of today's churches.

lookingforchurch said...

These are some of the fears I am facing now as the door for communication has just been opened. We are waiting to hear a response from a leader who was presented with the leadership/authority issue.

And I have already been ignored, labeled divisive, and am not trusted for previous challenges, so we will see what is next.

Eric said...

lookingforchurch,

I certainly hope that this leader listens and searches the scriptures with an open mind. It is wonderful when traditional church leaders are willing to change to come in line with the bible. Keep working at it!