Reform or Freedom?
Is it possible for people to gather in complete freedom? I continue to put this question because it is vital to the freedom of the individual and to the community. I am passionate about exploring this issue. I also think it is crucial that the question remains open because as soon as someone thinks he has the answer the results will be catalogued, published, then legislated.
People get upset over such cartoons as I published earlier to day. Some are upset because they are convinced that the church as it is does need reform... that it must either change or die. Others are upset because they detect an undertone of disdain for the church. I have come to the conclusion that church reform is useless. I appreciate the Protestant principle, the Reformed tradition, its theologians and ideas. But the proposal that the church is reformed and always reforming reflects the endless cycle we are trapped within. It betrays the fallen condition we are not necessarily consigned to as free men and women or as communties. This will not nourish or protect our personal or corporate freedom.
Is there a way we can become entirely free as individuals? Perhaps it isn't even a "way", but a reality that is ours which we must instantly realize and enjoy. Then, can free people gather in such a way as to respect one another's freedom and not impair it, but to give it the opportunity for fullest expression in the context of community? Of course, this implies love, which necessarily implies mutual surrender, sacrifice and service. But can it be done? Can we gather free of designs, visions, plans, goals, purposes, expectations and conformations? Can we gather in love with love itself as the means and the end?
I have not yet seen it on a consistent basis. I have seen glimpses of it. They are beautiful moments beyond words. But these are just momentary states, not a permanent stage as yet.