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Source: (consider it) Thread: Inviting friends to church
Martin60
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Lo and behold.

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Love wins

Posts: 17019 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Doone
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Takes guts, faith and leadership
Steve Chalke [Overused]

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
Is it all about 'inviting friends to Church'?


I'm assuming that 'inviting friends to church' can be extended to mean sharing the Good News with others in any way we feel we can.

But the invitation itself is surely theologically valuable in its own right, in the sense that existing as part of a mutually supportive worshipping, teaching and 'performing' community is important in a religion which, by many readings of the Bible, demands such an existence.

Of course, many don't see it that way now. We try to talk up the positives in 'believing without belonging'. But is Christianity a religion that can function meaningfully if there aren't ever-replenishing groups of people who do share a belief system and who are willing to inconvenience themselves by giving large amounts of money, time and effort to maintain a communal way of being and engage in various useful activities?

Maybe we need to be honest about Christianity as a 'multilevel faith', in which 'fuzzy' non-churchgoers should be treated not so much as a group to be 'invited' to church, but as part of the body of Christ who contribute something worthwhile but from outside church life? Some people do argue that non-churchgoing believers are an underutilised resource.

The challenge is that church leaders in the mainstream have to keep just enough Christians interested and committed so that congregational life can be maintained, while also putting a positive spin on the normality of non-churchgoing. Once again, the CofE do it best. IMO it's all about the money.


quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:

The South (i.e. sub-Saharan Africa) has nothing to offer but numbers by birth. It has no emergent theology. It oppresses Islam (Nigeria), gays (Uganda).

If the Holy Spirit is going to start leavening anywhere, it's in and from Waterloo. Whose caravanserais do reach the South.

I accept what you say about Uganda, but more broadly I find the above passage distasteful. Maybe that's just me.

Moreover, as I've said, I don't believe that the South offers only 'numbers by birth'. It seems particularly bizarre to lay this claim at Africa's door when between 1900 and 2000 apparently 40% of the continent's population switched from animism to various kinds of Christianity.

And it seems that apart from Indonesia Africa has seen more converts from Islam than anywhere else in the world.

One amateur researcher also estimates that between 30-50% of Christians alive today may be converts.

I feel, however, that your particular agenda means we're not going to agree on this. Never mind.

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Gamaliel
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I suppose my question would have been better posed as, 'Is it ALL about inviting friends to church?'

I'd agree with you that it is partly to do with that - but not exclusively ...

We do need 'plausibility structures' of course, and whatever our ecclesiology any concept of the Body of Christ has to include people meeting together in some way ...

Those 'plausibility structures' obviously include the local congregation - as well as, in some traditions, monastic or 'base-communities' and so forth.

I'm not challenging the concept of congregational gatherings of believers.

I strongly believe in those. And yes, I see the 'purpose' of the Church (any church) to be the proclamation of the Gospel by word and action and that involves creating and developing disciples.

The issue then becomes how we do that and what form the communities that result from such an enterprise should take.

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Praise the Lord for He is kind.

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Martin60
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Aye SvitlanaV2. Claims about Christianity abound within its maintaining its 'share' whilst Islam increases its. I'm sure in the swathes of nominal, denominational converts there are truly incarnational Christians. Not engaging in the marginalization of Islam in Nigeria, whence Boko Haram.

I don't see any examples of strong benevolent generous orthodoxy bar one above the surface in Africa.

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Love wins

Posts: 17019 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
SvitlanaV2
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I didn't say that Islam wasn't increasing its share. I'm aware that it's due to surpass Christianity by the end of the century.

I'm very impressed with the RC priest in the Central African Republic, but it's probably unwise to imply that all other Africans are horrible people. Would this African man want his work to be used as a stick with which to beat others? I think not, though I'm sure he would urge greater harmony and togetherness.

In the British context, there is interfaith work going on all the time.

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Martin60
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I didn't say you didn't.

I completely agree, most unwise.

The Pope was on top Interfaith form today. Strongly benevolently generously orthodox.

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Love wins

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Gramps49
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A friend posted this on her facebook page today. This is why I would argue it is okay to invite friends to church

Three years ago, on good friday I had coffee with a very unhappy young man. A very talented, kind and loving young man. Things were mixed up for him and his future seemed cloudy at best. I invited him to join me at Trinity Lutheran Church for Good Friday services. He came, shared in the program and went up to light candles. It was touching to see. Today he is a very happy young man, flled with joy and a loving girl friend by his side. I will never forget that day and that night. Reaching out to someone and in my small way impacting that young man's life has meant the world to me. Blessed Good Friday to you Kyle Johnstone and may your life be filled with all the love you have to give and in return all the love that is your's to be received.

Posts: 2067 | From: Pullman WA | Registered: Apr 2011  |  IP: Logged



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