Thursday, September 10, 2009

The ZigZag Café

We will be convening here at the ZigZag café, Suisse, on Thursdays for conversation and dialogue. I invite you to stop by every Thursday for the question of the day. Your thoughts and participation are most welcome. Pull up a stool, avec un café, un thé, ou un chocolat chaud, et un croissant, and join in here on Thursday at the ZZ café.

For today:

How is it possible to move through a rightly critical attitude about an impoverished Christian faith in the church or our own lives, towards renewal and a contribution to making things better?


Joshua said...

Remembering the God of history, seeking the religiosity the prophets and Jesus declare emblematic of the faithful. Shifting focus from self-centered to God-centered, which entails religiosity being less an appendage and more of a guiding force. So repenting as well as remembering.

Greg said...

Thanks for these useful insights on moving through criticism. Seeking, shifting, and repenting.

Rhett & Valerie said...

Hey Greg,

I was just thinking about how I sometimes don't even have a "rightly" critical attitude toward the church/church-goers. I find myself irritated at many other Christians/fellow church-goers that I'm with every day, and I often find some kind of theological justification/explanation for my irritation. In retrospect, though, my feelings toward these people are more often than not caused by my grumpy and perfectionistic standards regarding how Christian faith ought to express itself in practice, and the fact that there are personality traits or whatever about this people that I find plainly grating.

I think a "right" criticism of the church finds its impetus and urgency in love, and can't be divided from seeking creative solutions to problems and from encouraging deeper understanding of God.

So I liked what Josh said about repentence, though I'm not sure if he meant the church needs to repent, or if I, the grumpy critic, needs to repent of my bad attitude. In my comment, I guess I'm focusing on the latter. I suppose one thing we could do to move toward encouraging the church is to ask God to assit us in loving it more.


Greg said...

Thanks. Well said. It's not only difficult to be rightly critical, but to move through this to shalom.

Your retrospective equally points out the need for the critical to start at home where our own impoverishment should necessarily be a target to reckon with first.

Of course, I think there is a difference between a bad attitude and a justifiable critique of the church, yet both need to be moved through - the one with credibility and the other with repentance.

Being called again to following in the footsteps of Christ may help open us up to reconciliation or at least the opportunity for going on in fresh directions.