This morning I was having coffee with a friend of mine and it was one of those free-for-all conversations. I love these conversations! I am not one for agendas and I like to see where the rabbit trails will lead.
We were enjoying a nice french press when the topic of feeder systems came up. Now for those of you that are not familiar with this term, let me explain.
Think Tyson Chicken.
This particular company was notorious for creating feeder systems for chickens. You may think, “how nice, a place for little chickies to go and eat. That is thoughtful!” The reality is anything other than nice, sanitary or humane.
What companies like Tyson would do, is cram as many chickens into a space (covered lot) as they could and feed them until they couldn’t eat anymore. The chickens are literally walking over each other and crapping on each other. This presents a few problems like disease! So, the answer is easy, just pump them full of antibiotics and the problem is solved.
Next, they work on making these little KFC nuggets as BIG as possible. Can you say steroids? While some are in the weight room getting huge by taking steroids (and their “raisins” are shrinking) these little chickies are getting Bigger and BIGGER too. Steroids and antibiotics are the key to making the chickens survive long enough to be slaughtered.
Now, you have Zombies. What is it with the freaking deal with Zombie movies? Zombie movies and television shows are all the rage. I for one, do not understand this genre. I had to have Jeff sit down and explain the lure of this fantasy art form and after a half-hour conversation, I still didn’t get it. But, this is what I learned. Zombies are walking dead people. They are DEAD and they are WALKING around (seems plausible) but their primary function is to find living, breathing people to snack on. Yes, they eat there flesh however, they really dig eating peoples brains (again sounds plausible) and then the movie ends. Mindless, walking corpses that want to eat something that is alive…sound familiar?
SOUNDS LIKE THE CHURCH!!!
Now, if you crack out your blender and put in a touch of Zombie, little KFC chickies and an eye of newt, you will get the…CHURCH. This special blend is a mindless, feeder system that wants to consume. I know some pastors like this…did I just say that outloud?
You see, we have created massive feeder systems that gather everyone together so we can gorge ourselves on “truth”. We then become the “protectors” of this “truth” or feeder system because each feeder system has its own idiosyncrasies. Since we are all crammed into the same place and told “this” is what a proper christian does, we are given antibiotics like; mission trips or handing water at the local running trail (really?!?!?). This is just enough Jesus to inoculate us from truly catching the Jesus virus!
My friend (who was a missionary) stated that he believes that missionaries have it pretty easy. He said that the real “missionaries” are the moms and dads that go to a job they do not like, put their kids in daycare and sit in a cubical all day.
Now, you may be asking yourself, how do I reconcile the fact that I am a pastor of a church, yet I am whaling against it at the same time.
The truth is, this dichotomy is the BANE of my existence!
I have to look to Jesus to find the answers because I tick off all kinds of people when I say stuff like this. Jesus pushed against the religious system all the time. He questioned their motives, their integrity and he turned over tables. He drove consumers and profiteers out of the place of worship!
I believe that the future of the Church will need to transcend the four walls of the feeder system and get in the middle of peoples lives. Get in the middle of their problems. Leave their comfortable pews and actually go to a neighborhood bar and rub shoulders with those that do not understand this whole God thing.
So, here is the question…Are you part of the feeder system, taking your growth hormones, and antibiotics or are you turning over tables and standing up for the people that the church is judging? This is more simple than we make it.
Love God. Love the unlovable and visit your neighborhood bar!
Until next time,