It is not only physical migration that the Bible speaks of. Spiritual migration is just as real. From loneliness to fellowship. From despair to hope. From being lost to being found. From death to life.
We are in the midst of an immense, earth-moving, ground-shaking, cataclysmic, gut-wrenching, soul-shattering migration right now. Remember, we Presbyterians say we are “Reformed and always reforming.” Well, a reformation is occurring—now...and it’s a big one.
Heather and I recently attended a day-long presentation by a pastor, writer, theologian, future-thinker, church planter, social movement leader named Brian McLaren. His most recent, and some say his most important, book is entitled The Great Spiritual Migration: How the World’s Largest Religion Is Seeking a Better Way To Be Christian. You will be hearing much more about this book and others like it over the next year. Here are a few insights for us to begin to think about…pray about…talk about:
- Church life is perfectly designed to get the results we are getting right now. Thing is, more and more people no longer believe the mainline church is offering hope in this confusing world.
- Spiritual maturity is not based on right-thinking or correct believing, but by embodying the presence and love of Jesus. Frankly, the younger people especially are not as interested in what we believe as in who we are. Authenticity not orthodoxy.
- The primary biblical message of Jesus is not, “You must be born again” but “The kingdom of God is at hand.” The two messages are not irreconcilable, but the emphasis is different. Born again usually means that if we believe rightly and confess publicly we will be saved this world and promised eternal life in heaven. The kingdom of God is near means that God is present to us in this world—thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth...
- To repent means to re-think everything. “To be saved” is to be set free from the values of this world and raised to new life—now —in this world.