Saturday, February 12, 2011

A big God part 2

This post is an expansion of the first post 'A big God' and is a request from Rebecca to 'Explain more'.

One of the things that really started to get my heart racing about the Vineyard Church was when those in leadership explained the centre set model. From memory it is a term from sociology which John Wimber adapted for the Church. It is basically the idea that all organisations/groups have barriers or rings which define whether somebody is 'in' or 'out'. For Jesus (and this is the bit I liked) there were no barrier, no conditions everyone is accepted. Wimber basically said there was a need to define less what the barriers are and that so long as people are face the direction of wanting to know Jesus more he was happy with them belonging.

Sounds great but in practice its not easy. The Vineyard (and I'm only talking Australia), accepted people how they looked, dressed, spoke, burped. This could be tolerated just about forever. Yet for beliefs its different. There could be an initial weirdness but there needed to be evidence of change at least in the first year and constant change. Or your out, usually by the cold shoulder, ignored and described as loopy or demonic.

Now when it comes to beliefs the Uniting Church's God appears to me to be a bit more tolerance.  The orthodoxy of what you believe isn't a prerequisite of belonging. Yet in other areas, such as dress, if you don't wash or burb then from the gut feeling at the Church I go to, most of the congregation woud stuggle a bit with this.

I'm still looking for a 'Big God' one that fits that center set model. Hope that answers your question Bec.
Enhanced by Zemanta


Anonymous said...

I notice your subtitle of 'looking for signs of redemption and beauty'
maybe drop the 'signs' and go straight for the redemption and beauty. Or is the word 'signs' there for some reason? Is this a christian language conformity? I ask this repectfully.

Anonymous said...

Your comments about your 'vineyard' church experience sounds very cultish. the bit about being shunned etc. I know the J.W.s do this.

Scott said...

Anonymous: The word sign, yes it was deliberate. If you ever come across a sign you know that someone has been there before. In my case I hope for God.

The vineyard and 'shunned', I don't think it was ever deliberate. It is like all centre set models, if you don't fit you get the cold shoulder eventually move on. It could be any group from a church, library book club, tennis group.
Though from my reading of Jesus he was a pretty inclusive guy...

Anonymous said...

God is everywhere.

...and the phenomenon of shunning and exclusion from a group is cultural. the culture in/of the group is of that nature. That is the choice of the groups behaviour, decisions,actions etc.
It may be asked, where are their eyes and hearts turned to?

Gareth LovesTha Pye said...

The cult aspect would be when the hierarchy forces you to exclude people from all aspects of your life.

Scott said...

Hi Garath, good to hear from you. Your usually a 'buzz' commentor.
Yeah the cult is a very good example of very well defined and stringently keep barriers of keeping somebody out as well as in.

Rebecca said...

Thanks Scott.