About Jesus - Steve (Stephen) Sweetman

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Beyond A Reboot  


So there it goes again.  They say that my computer isn't the problem.  I'm the problem.  Okay, that's what they say, but it seems to me that my computer has a mind of its own, and anything with a mind of its own is quite capable of being a problem.  As usual, I shut down my computer, and as it's called, I reboot the thing.  If that doesn't work, I'm forced to get into the inner-workings of the computer's software and re-configure it back to factory specs.  Of course, that requires me to educate myself from the computer's manual.  Yes, sometimes the fix is beyond a reboot.   


Like computers, life itself needs a reboot, or even a reconfiguring at times.  We live in the Age of Entropy, where all things are in the process of decay that leads to death.  It's been this way since the events we read about in Genesis 3.  It only makes sense, then, that all aspects of our existence need timely maintenance, not to stop the decay, but to manage the decay.  This is where rebooting, or even reconfiguring, becomes important.   


Included in all things needing maintenance, is church.  Does church ever need a reboot?  If the reboot doesn't work, is reconfiguring needed, and what does that look like?  Where do we find the specs for church?  Are they in the Bible?  Here's a question I began asking as far back as 1978.  Is church evolutionary in nature, meaning, is it free to evolve from era to era and culture to culture to meet the needs of that culture and era, or, are there any elementary Biblical church principles that must never evolve, but remain constant no matter the culture or the era?  This question demands our attention in a day when that which we call church is suffering from a destructive divisiveness that another rebooted revival might not fix?       


I admit that some evolutionary processes are necessary.  Modern technology sure helps us accomplish God's will.  I'm convinced that the apostle Paul would have loved to have had a computer, a cell phone, and a car to assist him in ministry.  Just imagine reading Paul's Twitter feeds and being one of his Facebook friends.  Yes, updating ministry tools is important, but there are certain foundational Biblical church principles that must never evolve over time and from one culture to another.  If we forsake, ignore, or are unknowledgeable of these basic principles, we fail to be the church we are meant to be. 


The most elementary principle of church is that as Christians we have been immersed into personal, supportive, and functional relationships with Jesus and with those to whom He has placed us alongside in church (1 Corinthians 12:13).  This principle alone needs much detailed explanation, more than I can provide here.  I have, however, explained this and other foundational principles of church in my books entitled "The Community We Call Church" and "The Organic Church," both available on all Amazon sites. 


I was born, raised, and have spent my seventy one year life in church.  Church is important to me, as I hope it is to you.  It's not an extracurricular activity that we add to a long list of personal interests, but that's what it is for many.  We cannot allow church to drift away from its original purpose and meaning, but that's what we're doing in many instances.  That just might force Jesus to take matters into His own hands and reconfigure church.  Such reconfiguring, as seen in Revelation 3:14 through 22, doesn't look pretty.  My prophetic, speculative scenario for the western-world church suggests that a painfully divine reconfiguring is in our future.  Yes, sometimes it takes more than a revival, well beyond a reboot.


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