Monday, August 26, 2013

three thoughts/questions.

1. I hate the word 'excommunicated'. Can we never use it again?

2. I read an article on the weekend which said the family is the primary place for theological education. I'd put the church ahead of the family. Thoughts?

3. I had a chat with a friend yesterday who was concerned she was freeloading at church - getting all the time rather than giving. She's not. I think that she is giving lots and lots by being a massive encouragement to us all. But it made me think about freeloading. I think a freeloader is someone who has been coming once or twice a month for a couple of years and doesn't help out and then complains that the creche isn't run very well. What do you think?


  1. 1. Do you use the word? Have you excommunicated people in your church?

    2. If discipleship starts with children, given time spent in family vs in church, I think reality is that family is primary, for better or worse. And given Deut 6 etc, maybe it should be primary. And I think common sense would say that family is often our most formative influence. Not to mention that the church is just a big family...

    3. A freeloader is someone who does nothing for anybody except themselves. Someone may attend a "local church", not be on any "church rosters", but do lots of ministry outside of that "local church". I definitely wouldn't call that freeloading.

  2. 1. Why do you hate the word? Is it that you hate the literal sound of it or do you hate the meaning? If you hate the basic meaning, sorry, I'm not going to redefine it for you (that way lies mis-communication, possibly leading to ex-). If you hate the meaning because you never want the application of it, then you need to consider how seriously or literally you take things like "expel the immoral brother".

    2. I'd say that theological education begins in the family of origin (regardless of what the belief system is). Whatever the parents / care-givers believe, they will act out and the child will form his or her worldview with that as a base. So if, for example, a child has an abusive or emotionally absent father, then when the child is told that God is our father, the child will naturally assume that God is abusive or emotionally absent.

    3. A freeloader is someone who takes or accepts with no thought of contributing back in some way. Your friend sounds like she wants to contribute but doesn't recognise that encouragement works for you - she wants to do or give something tangible. Is she on a roster (cleaning, refreshments, music...)? If yes then maybe she doesn't feel like she's contributing because it's easy for her / enjoyable for her / requires no (perceived) sacrifice from her.

  3. 1. Become a Baptist, they don't excommunicate.. they just de-fellowship! :D

    2. Formatively, it would be the family I think, for better or worse.

    3. I remember a friend talking once about the 'ministry of showing up', but that was more to do with sticking it out in a struggling fellowship, or when you don't feel like you're 'getting' much out of a church, but your presence can be a real encouragement to those trying to make it happen.