My name is Tom; this is Simple Church Minute.
We have been mentioning a writing by German writer Wolfgang Simson, 15 Theses towards a Re-Incarnation of Church. Today, we bring up Thesis #13, From denominations to city-wide celebrations. On this idea, Simson writes, “Jesus called a universal movement, and what came was a series of religious corporations with global chains marketing their special brands of Christianity and competing with each other. Through this branding of Christianity most of Protestantism has lost its voice in the world and become politically insignificant, more concerned with traditional distinctives and religious infighting than with developing a collective testimony before the world. Jesus simply never asked people to organize themselves into factions and denominations, and Paul spoke of it as worldly, a sign of baby Christians.
In the early days of the church, Christians had a dual identity: they were truly his church and vertically converted to God, and they then organized themselves according to geography, that is, converting also horizontally to each other on earth. This means not only Christian neighbours organizing themselves into neighbourhood or house churches, where they share their lives locally, but Christians coming together as a collective identity as much as they can for city-wide or regional celebrations expressing the corporateness of the city or region. Authenticity in the neighbourhoods connected with a regional of city-wide corporate identity will make the church not only politically significant and spiritually convincing, but will allow a return to the biblical model of the city church, the sum total of all born-again Christians of a city or an area. Unquote.
There is a lot in that statement, and you can reread it at your pace, along with the rest of the 15 theses at www.simsonwolfgang.de. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find out more about simple forms of worship at http://www.simplechurch.com/ or for this area at (local website).