“TAKE OFF THY REEBOKS,
FOR THOU ART STANDING ON HOLY GROUND!”
Although you may not have seen it, there is a plaque somewhere in your church, probably down in the kitchen, that marks the burial site of the last person who worked with the kids. It reads: “Change is bad; we don’t like change. This one won’t change anything anymore.” Look around for it. You will probably find the plaque under the water heater or the church furnace.
It has been said that the seven last words of the church are: “We’ve never done it that way before.” It is astonishing that the church continues even though it has been collectively saying that since the beginning. The Old Testament church thought they had it right, then Jesus came along and wanted to change things. Gratefully his plaque only lasted three days. But it has been much the same since then. The early church bickered about the handling of finances (Acts 6:1), suffered from sharp personality conflict (Acts 15:39), and required arbitrary ritual conduct (Acts 21:20ff). As the years have passed the church has become institutionalized, and splintered off into hundreds of denominations, each with its own distinctives, doctrines, and disagreements with the others. There is much to regret when reviewing church history.
Yet the church, the people of God, survive and flourish. In spite of the institution of the church, the body of the church manages to plod along through time, haltingly, against the odds:
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