Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Mere Churchanity

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review
Book:  Mere Churchianity
Author:  Michael Spencer (The Internet Monk)

Have you left the church in search of Jesus?  Studies show that 1 in 4 young adults claim no formal religious affliation, & church leaders have long known that this generation is largely  missing on Sunday morning.  Hundreds of thousands of "church leavers" have had a mentor and pastor, however, in Michael Spencer, known to blog readers as the Internet Monk.
Spencer discovered the truth that church offiicals often miss, which is that many who leave the church do so in an attempt to find Jesus.
In this book, Spencer's writing continutes to point the disenchanted & dispossessed to a Jesus-shaped spirtuality.  And along the way, his teachs show how you can find others who will go with you on the journey.
First Line:  This book began with an athiest in a Diary Queen, 33 years ago.

The first words that come to mind when I think of this book is: THE TRUTH HURTS


The things Mr. Spencer says about the church, I have to say, I tend to agree with his views & his reasoning. 

One of my favorite things he said is:

"Following Jesus does not require you to pledge allegiance to a religious instituion"

He made some amazing points about how people view Christians - how churches view Jesus & how churches also pick & choose what they want to see of Jesus... & what they teach of Jesus.

"What would atheists see if Christianity were something Jesus himself wouldnt recognize?"

"Would Jesus invest in 80 acres of prime suburban real estate so he could build a "campus" as a way to chagne the world?

I was reading this, shaking my head so much at the beginning.... but then, it just got depressing.  Because again, THE TRUTH HURTS... & I also see everything he was saying about the church... & it became over whelming to keep reading it & reading it &  knowing what he was saying had bits of truth in it.

I kept waiting for an "answer" at the end - what to look for in a church - a good church... but never really got that answer.  And Mr. Spencer wasnt saying there arent good churches out there... but there was definitely more of what is wrong in churches... which again, I see his point.

The saddest part... I can see where Jesus would feel that way too...

In the end, it was a good reminder that we arent to follow a CHURCH - we are to follow JESUS... & we are to read about Jesus ourselves - we are to learn what Jesus lays on our hearts .... its not always about having a set of rules set by a church - or feeling like the churches judgement on us is the final judgement we will have.  (Amen!) ... the answer is easy really.. Look to Jesus... that's all...

"There is little need for large churches stuffed with satisfied audiences.  There is a great need for a movement of disciples going inot the over looked places of the world to see & serve the Kingdom of God."

My Rating:  3 skeins .... because I'm so torn on how it made me feel.  Pumped up... then very discouraged...

Very thought provoking though... I think everyone that belongs to a church - & every Pastor - should read this book... see if you find yourself in the things He says... or if you ARE standing & preaching & teaching for ONLY Jesus....
Last Line:  And finally, when we come home, we will find that Jesus has made us like himself, & yet, amazingly, we will have remained in every way ourselves.

1 comment:

Girl in Carolina said...

Forgive me for my rambled thoughts!! I haven't read this book, but in the past, I have been guilty of looking for the "perfect" church. Where there's no drama...no negativity, etc. But there is no such church. I think people tend to forget that churches are made up of real people. People that are sinners just like myself. Churches will disappoint us. And vice versa. Congregations forget that sometimes. And when things go wrong, our first reaction should not be "church is flawed, and it's not for me." Church shouldn't be about the building...the pews...the woman who gossips too much...or what kind of car the preacher drives. It's about the feelings you have when you are there. It's about coming together, worshiping together, encouraging each other, and overall, helping us feel closer to Jesus. I hope someday soon I will find a church that will accept my flawed self and vice versa :)

Great post and review RJ!