Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Observation on Something I Picked up from Kevin Johnston's Blog

Kevin Johnston is an awesome guy who I went to college with. He keeps a blog here called Sola Nobilitas Virtus. He usually has some kind of snappy quotation at the top and/or the side of the blog (the trend now is to have a more long-lasting one at the top and a quotation and picture on the right side that switch on a weekly basis.) Anyway, back when I think it was just the one on the right that changed, one of them was:
Some want to live within the sound of church or chapel bells. I want to run a rescue shop within a yard of hell.
I submit that this is a false dichotomy, and I stipulate that in saying such I am completely disregarding any intent it may have and focusing solely on its wording. There should be a church within a yard of hell, for parishoners who can brave it. We are after all a pilgrim church; we are not safe. And it seems that we can think many places that are almost borders between hell and earth (for reasons of physical poverty mostly, though I suspect we could identify just as many places where spiritual poverty was great enough.) And there are churches in them.

I'm not saying I should be one of those to go to that church. Though by going to church in America I may have already committed myself to such. In fact I suspect the commitment is really much easier to make even than that. In a sense, every square yard of this world that isn't the sanctuary of a Church is already within a yard of hell. I thank God that the sanctuaries and tabernacles have stayed almost totally inviolate, save for those intentional perversions which constitute crimes against God and humanity. But almost everything else--including, with sadness, the church meeting halls, the homes of Christians, even, have not. So it is not just a false dichotomy because the Church could be a rescue shop, in theory. It is an impossible distinction, because the Church cannot be a Church unless it is a rescue shop.

Ultimately, I suppose what this means is, ready or not, I'm called to go to that church! Will you come with me?


Kev Johnston said...

Oh MAN. You're starting to remind me of my good friend Gilby K Chesterton (he lets me call him that). Good work. Haha. I love this post. And not just because of the shoutout! Haha. Thanks.

hxrtotally said...

My pastor friend gave me an interesting interpretation of Matthew 16:18. He believes there is implied not only a promise that the Church will never be under the dominion of Hell, but that the Church is placing Hell under siege as well.

Also of note, you are assuredly correct, but I would make this stipulation; not only is any within a yard of Hell, it should be said that there are many Hell-bound (as they are living now) within the Church. The Church is, after all, for the Hell-bound, not the already saved (or, in your words, the Church IS a rescue shop).

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