Today, I want to share a few things that are encouraging and inspiring to me.
Roy McClung, in his excellent post From Temples to Tents had this to say:
“How do we survive the transition from Temple to Tent, from the center to the margins? How do we become a people free from addiction to the Temple culture, out on the open range, a people comfortable with the insecurity of freedom?
Change will not come from the Temple priesthood, who have a vested interest in maintaining the life of the Temple.
We need leaders who will sacrifice their personal advancement to inspire the risk and sacrifice necessary to bring change. These are people unafraid to risk moving against the tide, who aren’t tempted by the rewards offered by the Temple life. We need dreamers and visionaries who understand how dangerous a dream can be. We need people who are comfortable with the margins, with smallness, with ambiguity, and with obscurity.”
And along the same lines, a post called A Towering Failure at Fluid Faith by Jimmy Shaw:
“With the reliability and permanence that only brick and mortar can provide, they construct a fortress against obscurity and marginalization. What they build practically shouts, “We’re important! We matter!” No one could ever deny their importance or declare them irrelevant. Their carefully designed structures would forever stand as a testimony to their values, their place, their contribution to the world.
In response God decides to scatter them. A God who defeats such ambitions. A God who tears down structures like these. A God who constantly declares that brick and mortar cannot bear the weight of bearing witness to the God of Creation; only flesh and blood can carry such a load.
So God would deconstruct all they had planned and raise up instead a diverse, uncertain, even confusing world of cascading voices and clashing cultures. A world in which God could call forth a unique people out of the obscurity and marginalization feared by those who build towering empires, who resist the scattering, who despise new languages.”
In order to do this, we need to take an honest look at what it we we are protecting. What are the things we are invested in that may actually be hindering our ability to move freely? Where are our dependancies on the established structures?
Dependence creates an instinct for self-preservation. This dependence is difficult to acknowledge. It is easily justified and difficult to see, but often we sense the nagging tyranny to preserve and protect ourselves.
Addiction to temple culture may include several things. For the professional minister of course there is the salary. For others, the dependence may be in areas of power, influence, or social position. Dependence influences a person’s ability to respond freely.
Many of the people I have met in online conversations are those, who for whatever reason, have become people with very little to lose. They have been freed of their attachments to the temple culture.