Welcome to the Greene Street Letters. It has become my venue for sharing what is going on at Vineyard Recovery Church. Don't let the word Church scare you. The Greene Street Letters is a daily posting to simply say that there is more to life than what you see. More to life than "stuff". My simple take of 60+ years of following Jesus. Some days were good days...some days I managed to get off in the ditch. He is worthy of the pursuit, so that is what I do........I pursue Jesus in everything I do. Not the Jesus of the church. Not the Jesus of the denomination. Nothing wrong with those things, but Jesus is so much more. Thanks for dropping by and I hope you return from time to time to stop and ponder your own relationship with Jesus. God on you....mb
Monday, February 13, 2017
From The Writings Of Bonhoeffer
The following are quotes from Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a Lutheran Minister who served the church in Nazi Germany.
"It is much easier for me to imagine a praying murderer, a praying prostitute, than a vain person praying. Nothing is at odds with prayer as vanity."
"The religion of Christ is not a tidbit after one's bread, on the contrary, it is the bread or it is nothing. People should at least understand and concede this if they call themselves Christian."
"Christianity conceals within itself a germ hostile to the church."
"Christianity preaches the infinite worth of that which is seemingly worthless, and the infinite worthlessness of that which seems so valued."
"In New York they preach about virtually everything, only one thing is not addressed, or is addressed so rarely that I have yet been unable to hear it, namely the gospel of Jesus Christ, the cross, sin and forgiveness, death and life."
"In the place of the church, as the congregation of believers in Christ, there stands the church as a social corporation."
If we aren't being stirred to worship and then serve (outside the walls of the church) then we miss the point.
It isn't really about us....It is about Him and Him alone.
I may be totally off base here, but I truly believe that if we would expend ourselves on being the people God created us to be.....having our very character changed via the power of His Holy Spirit, then the doing would come from us like second nature. We would not have to think about doing something for Jesus....such would be as natural as breathing.
John Wimber saw the ineptness of the church. In most churches, people were invited to come and join, sit and give their money and buy into the program. Wimber felt that each person was to join a local community of believer's, but that each person should hear God as to what their part was in serving outside the walls of the church. Wimber established the fact that there was no perceived "A-Team" of ministers, nor were there "B-team" or "C-team" members. Every one got to play. Every one got to pray. Everyone was called to do the works and ministry of Christ. It wasn't about the "man up front" on Sunday's who was suppose to have all the answers. It was about learning how to "do the stuff". When the church got up and left on Sunday morning at the end of a service, the ministry of Christ then moved to the streets where it would be most effective.
Truth be known, wouldn't it be great if you went to church one Sunday and the doors were locked. Posted on the door was a sign that read...."Gone fishing!" The church being the church. Yes, we need corporate endeavors. We need the collective finances and muscle that only a church can bring. But we need to recognize the need for people to be true followers and disciples of Christ. What happens between Monday and Saturday is as important as what takes place on Sunday mornings. Do we suspend ministry between Monday and Saturday because the pastor wasn't available? Do we tell people, "Come and visit my church if you need help, we are open on Sunday's and Wednesday's" ? No....we are the B-O-D-Y of Christ. The body doesn't fall apart after the closing prayer on Sunday, only to be resurrected the next Sunday for service. No! The parts disperse through out the city and should be actively engaged in doing the works of Christ in the work place, in the market place, in the school and on the streets.
If you listen, you'll hear people who are hungry to be touched by God. To know that this "Christian" stuff is real and worthy of giving themselves to. Don't be a secret agent for Jesus.....Double O Nothing. Go ahead and blow your cover so those around you will know you are a follower. Not so much with your words, or tracts...your t-shirts or Time-life worship CD's....but by your love. Remember, the Bible doesn't say "By their T-shirts you shall know them." I think it say's by their love you will know them.
Christianity is not a spectator sport....
It calls for participation.
Don't go to church....
Be the church....
God on you....