I read some info about Quakers today.
As I read through “what we believe” section I became convinced more and more that in fact I was a Quaker. Evangelical Quaker, to be more precise. Or “a friend”, as they call themselves.
Until I read this:
“Every believer should be related to a local visible part of Christ’s universal Body in order to worship, witness, and work more effectively for the glory of God”.
Ok, so much for Martin the Quaker.
“A local visible part of Christ’s universal Body” means simply “a church” in the unprofessional language. So what they are saying here is that every Christian should be in a church. To be more effective.
Well, first of all, Bible doesn’t say that. Secondly, where is the proof of that based on facts and data? “Should” here is based on nothing that matters. If there was a “could” instead, that would be fine.
My own experience so far proved that I was way more effective when I was NOT in any church. I’ll spare you the details, but the difference is quite shocking.
Yes I know, it should be impossible, according to Quakers. Hey, it should be impossible according to probably 99% of churches out there.
Well, too bad, reality doesn’t care what you assume. Churches, in general, are ineffective these days and maybe it’s time to face such possibility. The only reason people think otherwise is that they have nothing to compare with, as every Christian these days is pressured to be a member of a church much more than he is pressured to actually believe in Christ. Every Christian is to be a professional Christian, a member of a formal group lead by a professional leader.
And again, that’s not the model from Bible. First Christians were all amateurs. Scholars and Pharisees were the professionals, followers of Jesus were completely unprofessional.
At least that’s how it all started.
Now it doesn’t take a genius to realize what really is effective. Belonging to a church does make anybody more effective. What makes people more effective? It’s simple: cooperation of competent, willing, reliable people.
So does such cooperation require a church, a priest, a pastor, a building and dressing up for weekly Sunday meetings? Of course not.
However, it was not a bad idea 400 years ago, as they didn’t have phones, internet and access to tools and knowledge we have. Also, the world was much stiffer then. But today the coordination, task management, planning, financing and working, can be accomplished in much more efficient ways than passively attending formal meetings.
So, here’s a new idea from me to all Christians out there:
I don’t believe a Christian should be a professional. I believe a Christian should be an amateur!
But if you really insist on being professional, at least be reasonable about it. Seek truly effective ways. Seek new ways. You want to change the world and keep yourself the same?
After all, it is not the faithfulness to traditions that matters in the end. It is the fruit of our lives. And if the love of professionalism stands in the way, down with it!