Saturday, April 19, 2008

The PolyAnna Approach - A Place of Christian Cynicism?

Sometimes a wave of guilt comes over me, leaving me drenched in a sense that I'm always being negative on this Blog. I think there is some truth to that impression and it is reflective of my personality. But it isn't that I aways am looking at the class as half empty. No, it is more of a feeling that everyone else is living with a half-empty glass and they are saying, and believing, that the glass is as full as it can get. What I am really doing, is screaming, "It can be better than this!"

The Church can be much better than what it is. The way that we think and live christianly, can be much more healthy (emotionally) than the dysfunctional state that so many of us settle for. That's what motivates me.

I spent fifteen years in a very extreme discipleship group, the old Navigators. I say, "old" because they have reformed some since then. It was fifteen years of hard, emotional and spiritual labor, trying to find God's pleasure . . . but to no avail.

I think I do share, write and think in the same way as Luther and the thousands of the unspoken "Luthers" who has stood in opposition to the status quo. We need people crying in the wilderness, like THE DOOR (see its link on the side-bar). They know how to have a good time, making fun of the despicable acts of the likes of TV Evangelist. Those are the modern examples of who Christ would throw out of the temple.

Also as the father of five young adults, I am concerned about the masses (60-80%) who have grown up in a Christian home . . . but then leave the Church once emancipated.

But there is great joy in knowing Christ, and even greater joy when you come to grips of the real Gospel . . . God's pleasure in us, through Christ . . . plus nothing!

I know that the Polyanna Christians, such as Joel Osteen, draw the masses. I think Joel's church is the largest in the country and he is the most popular Christian author. But I do believe that there are still many out there, like me, who want to escape the feel-good, or step-by-step (how to) Christianity for the real. Now that would give you something to smile about.



Anonymous said...

Intrigued.....tell more about your experience with the Old navigators and do you have any experience with the New navigators?

Deacon & Usher stopped by.....

MJ said...

It depends on how much you want to know about the "old Navigators." I became a Christian through their ministry while still in high school. I was "discipled" by them in college. I went to an (intensive) regional Navigator training center for 5 years, then I continued with another campus Navigator ministry for four more years as a leader, then I went to the mission field with The Navigators for about 4 years (including the time in the states raising support).

The training center was very dysfunctional and legalistic. The mission experience with them was very, very dysfunctional.

All I can say about the "new navigators" is that a good friend of mine is still a Nav staff (and even in the old days was a breath of fresh air) and he said, in the early 90s there was a purging from the Navs a lot of the dominating, legalistic staff and there was a reform. I turst his judgement that they have changed but I do not have first hand information about it.