Matthew R. Perry

Would We Rather Have Comfort of Soul, or Know God?

In Church Life on March 24, 2008 at 4:35 pm

In reading “Outgrowing the Ingrown Church” by C. John Miller, I came across a quote that just struck me. In the book, Miller notes that many churches have neglected God’s clear will of “going and making disciples” as outlined by Christ’s Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20). But many of our churches have grown inward for fear of extinction. It was at this point, I came across this quote on pp. 19-20:

“We have surrendered our hearts to the familiar forms of our religious life and found comfort of soul, not in knowing God, but in knowing that our worship practices are firmly settled and nothing unpredictable will happen Sunday morning. Thus, we have lost contact with the risen Lord as the source of our spiritual life, and what is worse we are often so enfeebled that we hardly know that we are out of touch with the King.”

Would we rather have comfort of soul, or know God? One thing about going through the Gospel of Luke is that Jesus is not comfortable nor safe. In fact, Jesus said in Matthew 5:11-12:

“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. [12] Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

But how sad it would be for us to be out of touch with the risen Lord, and not know it — but think we are because we are maintaining worship practices that may be taking precedence over the leadership of the Holy Spirit of Christ?!?

Joe Thorn commented on another aspect of Miller’s book dealing with seven characteristics of an ingrown churches. May we read and head as we evaluate exactly what God would have us to be as a New Testament church.


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