Louis posted the other day about what he thinks the new reformation that is needed would look like.
I have to say I agree with everything he said but I wanted to add a few of my thoughts.
First off is a quote from Shane Claiborne’s Jesus for President :
And about every five hundred years there has been another exodus. During the crisis of the Roman Empire’s crumbling, there were the desert fathers and mothers and the Benedictines. And during the difficulties of the Crusades and the split between East and West in the church , orders like the Franciscans, Poor Clares and Dominicians were birthed. And during the chirch’s identity crisis throughout the Enlightenment, the Reformation proclaimed its critiques not just through the reconsideration of doctrine but through community movements like the Moravians and Annbaptists. All these waves of history are signs of people seeking an alternative to the god of power, instead praying low to the ground, seeking the faithfulness of God’s people.
Maybe it’s time once again to go to the desert, to the abandoned places of the empire in which we find ourselves.
If we’re going to have the reformation Louis speaks about where “the church submit all of its life and work to Holy Scripture”, it should extend to what is written above.
Maybe I’ve just got monasticism on the brain (more than likely!) but I’ve just finished reading Matthew and was struck by how much of Christ’s teaching we don’t seem to deal with/enforce/teach on. Things like Matt 19:21 “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” or 20:26-28 “Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”” We avoid these very blunt, very extreme teachings because they require us to make sacrifices we don’t want to make. Maybe it’s about time we did.
I think we’re going to have to bring the next exodus forward. And we don’t just need to get away from the powers of the world which we believe have “corrupted” it or our religion. I think we need an exodus from ourselves, from our very mindset and way of thinking. It’s time to strip our faith, and lives, right back. Return to the basics, delve into scripture – consume it and digest it and live it – follow God and be willing to leave everything else behind.
Now I know I haven’t exactly done that but I’m working on it. It’ll take time, for all of us, because the world is so ingrained in us.
Time for a new reformation.