Unleashed   Leave a comment

open solitary cells.

open solitary cells. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have read that many prisoners of the Nazi concentration camps and others who have been imprisoned because of wars often struggle when the are emancipated.  When they are released from the bondage that they have been in for long periods of times, they appear dazed, confused, and frightened.  While I have never been made to endure anything remotely close to this type of situation, I would imagine that the closely personal experience that I can use to relate to the feelings of these individuals is when I have come out of a very dark room into sunlight.  It is difficult to become oriented and to know where I am headed.

I have been engaged in some conversations regarding some new freedoms that my denomination has given individual congregations and governing bodies.  In some situations, the language has even changed.  As I experience these changes and discuss the changes with others, I find that it is a little like the situations that I mentioned above.  Many individuals are dazed, confused, frightened, and disoriented.  There is a desire to return to the confines that we have known so long.  The boundaries are familiar and our expected behaviors and responses are comfortable.

The challenge for me and others is to accept the new freedom.  We have been unleashed and are able to roam somewhat freely.  We can explore and experiment.  The problem is that we are not sure what to do with this freedom.  We are not comfortable exploring and experimenting because we have never had the opportunity.  In fact, we are much more eager to try to reclaim the old life that we new prior to being confined.  Instead, we are given the opportunity to create a new life.

The same can be said of those who have just come to realize the freedom that we have been given through the death on the cross and the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  If you read the letters from Paul to the churches or the book of Acts, you will find that they wrestled with the new-found freedom in Christ and how to  live with this new freedom.  I think the same can be said of the churches today.  As we live out this new Great Emergence that Phyllis Tickle speaks about, we are challenged to explore and experiment.  New life and freedom has been unleashed upon the Church today.  What we will do with it is yet to be seen.


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