Control Freaks and Rebels

A great quote from Alan Hirsch for my rabble-rowsing friends:

Church history is quite simply full of the activity of passive-aggresive clerical engineers and control freaks. Little wonder missional creativity and genuine innovation in modes of ecclesia have gone out the window.

It is time for the chaos freak to arise. Take your place instigators, rabble rowsers, innovators, holy rebels. This is your time to shine.

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13 thoughts on “Control Freaks and Rebels

  1. I assume that by “shine”, he meant the body armor that we’re wearing in anticipation of the reaction of the control freaks.

  2. After reading the post at Alan’s site I have to say I agree with Makeesha’s comments… “Amen.

    Just be prepared for the clerical engineers to snuff out your light as soon as you unleash it.”

    I am one of those ‘challenge the status quo guys’ who has never conformed to the agenda (at least not for long) and who has attempted to introduce change. The responses from the “control freak passive-aggressive clerical engineers” has ranged from being politely ignored to being warned to not create a “flow within a flow” to being accused of pride to finally just having a successful program shut down.

    So, chaos freaks, instigators, rabble rowsers, innovators, and holy rebels, be warned.

  3. Speaking as an instigator, rabble rowser, and holy rebel … shining is kinda hard. The push back and push down gets tiring. Even in the so-called emerging venue. Too many people (probably including me) think they know “the answer” before anyone has finished thinking up “the question” …

  4. I recently referred to myself as an amateur heretic on my blog, because that is how I have felt for much of my life in the church. I always seem to have been pushing back against heartless, evangelical ecclesiastical authority and a heavy, impersonal, structured programmatic approach to being the Body.

    I have very strange ideas about what it means to be follower of Christ. (like trying to actually live out the Jesus Creed, tangibly loving God and others without an agenda) But, living in the suburbs, I only seem to find like minds online.

    Even though there are small minds who find tremendous comfort in slavish adherence to orthodox evangelical cultural norms and precepts, I also see a new wind blowing, rustling the curtains of the stage. The Church is changing no matter how desperately some people try to cling to their cherished church models from 1964.

    You are a part of it, and I would guess that so are all of the people who read and comment on your blog. Viva La Revolucion!

  5. Interesting comments.

    The control freaks only have dominion in the territory they own, where one is required to play by their rules.

    Once we leave their playground, we are no longer required to play by their rules.

    They might complain and criticize, but we are each free to be and do what God is calling us to.

  6. I was a rabble rouser once, though I didn’t know it at the time. I was my priest’s favorite little pet parishioner. He always listened to me. . . that is until the day I didn’t agree with him.

    All I wanted was a Bible Study, a real one, not group therapy not social hour not a cocktail party, but Bible Study. I wanted to learn and to grow.

    First I was told I was the only one who wanted what I wanted. Then I was told I needed to reform within myself. Eventually I was told I needed psychiatric treatment.

    I don’t go to that church anymore. I don’t think I’ll ever really attend church anymore, beyond Sunday morning.

    I know the church needs changing. I know God has been talking to me for a long time about what my role might be in that.

    But I will never again be a rabble rouser. I will never again put myself in a position to be exploited, berated, belittled and abused. Maybe I just don’t love God enough. But it hurts too much.

  7. Grace, it seems you have a gift for drawing the most beautiful people to yourself. The comments I have seen so far are inspiring.

    Anonymous, I can relate to your story. I stopped struggling against the flow about 4 years ago and it’s been one of the best things I could have done for myself. The freedom that I stepped into as soon as I left that church was the beginning of the most wonderful chapter in the journey of my life. I have discovered that Jesus lives outside of the walls of the church. No longer will I allow those modern day pharisees to control me or force me to comprimise my faith because it’s “not good for our numbers.” Life’s too short to play the hierarchy game.

    So let’s make some space in our lives and listen to the voice of God. Let’s put aside all our agendas and dogmas, and seek the character of God. Simplify.. listen.. and live as authentically as we can in light of the presence of God. We don’t have to make things so complicated. Living in communion with God shouldn’t involve so many man-made hoops.

  8. I always want to be a rebel, but find too many times that I end up veering towards the control freak side. Need to work on this with God and put Him in the middle.

  9. Makeesha, i that you? Have you changed blog addresses?

    Anyhow, keep in there holy rebels–you have a great bloodline in the prophets, apostles, and Jesus himself. Just do it lovingly. One of my fave quotes is “that which you would change you must first love.” – MLK

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