Sunday, May 31, 2009

Church-Community-Independence-Solitary

I had a conversation with a friend recently about different kinds of churches. We compared independent nondenominational churches with those which are part of a denomination.

My view is that there is a potential problem with nondenominational churches because of their independence. That is, there are no checks and balances to keep a pastor from becoming corrupt with his power and authority. Also, there is no larger church structure to help individuals and individual churches discern what God's will may be for them.

Faith cannot grow independent of community. Our relationship with God is personal, but not only personal. Like a human family, we also have a communal relationship with our Heavenly Father.

The irony of what I was saying was not lost on me. That is, as I am on a more or less independent spiritual journey, apart from my home church, here I am talking about the importance of community. My response? Balance. Sometimes one has to be the community member, and sometimes one has to be the hermit, or solitary. I am on a more solitary leg of my faith journey right now; but in time, it will be time to rejoin the community, or join a new community.

I miss not having a personal mentor for this leg of my journey, but I know that in God's time, and in His fashion, that too will be taken care of. Maybe at this time, I will have several "mentors", each helping with a particular part of the journey. Some may provide guidance. Others, support. And I hope all will pray for me.

1 comment:

Peter P said...

Denomination or no denomination, The church only works right if leaders are willing to accept the leadership of those who are 'over' them and if those overseers are willing discipline and correct those under them.

I know of independent churches who have a spiritual 'covering' which they then ignore in times of struggle and I know of denominations where the overseers side with the priest/pastor every time and don't discipline or reprove them even when it is clearly necessary.

Good post Erlinda