Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Naked Church

The Emperor’s New Clothes

I’ve started reading The Naked Church by Wayne Jacobsen, what a wonderful book so far. I hope to comment on things that stand out to me as I go. Hopefully it doesn’t turn into one of my epistles, God forbid.

From what I can see, Wayne is using the story of The Emperor’s New Clothes, a story by Hans Christian Anderson, as a metaphor for the uncanny parallel of the institution called, ‘the church’ of today.

My daughter was home for a few days from University and said she bumped into an old high school friend last night and in the process of catching up on life, she (my daughter) discovered her friend and her husband were Christians, but they had come to a place where the one size fits all no longer held their interest.
I realize what I am saying here is and has become a high octane, highly flammable, volatile, combustible topic, but I’m jumping into the pool whether the sharks have been feed or not.

I want the folks who only want to hear what they think they are hearing, just another ‘church’ bashing idiot, to listen up, please!

One of the things that I stand amazed at in coming to see and know Him, my loving Papa and seeing an ever greater need to see and know Him, I can’t get enough of Him!
In this moment by moment transformation of grace, what astounds me is that in sharing Him plus nothing, you would swear I was the anti-Christ.
I have NO interest in the right verses the wrong way to do anything, such as water baptism, speaking not speaking in tongues, worship-full blown doing your cardiovascular worship or sitting quiet with NO instruments, having not having the Lord’s supper, tithing or not, titles, positions, badges, buttons, red carpet verses blue carpet, woman allowed to be seen as well as being heard, etc. etc.!

Jesus will always represent a threat to that which knowingly or unknowingly has become a substitute for Him in my life or yours.
I want to say that as a result of the knowledge of good and evil being ever present in our lives we have devised a clear cut and proper solution, meaning, it all boils down to doing things “the right way” verses the “wrong way, right? What about His Way?
The Way, Truth and Life is a moot point if it is not seen/experienced in the context of a Person. Jesus said, “I Am the Way-Truth-Life of the Father, this is not mere ecclesiastical doctrinal intellectual warm fuzzy talk.

Without His spirit transforming us from within our soul, the best any of us has is the Letter, which bludgeons-kills, but, the life quickening spirit breathing His breath into that letter is Life.
I am going to rap this up here, I realize I haven’t even shared any thoughts yet from what Papa is speaking to me from Wayne’s thoughts from his book, but stay tuned, they're coming.

He, Jesus is building His Church, the body which IS His Church, and He does not need your or my help, He may be the Ancient of Days, but is fully able to perfectly perfect that which HE initiated in each of us!



Anonymous said...

I love how your words speak respect about the institutional church. I'm working on being a bit more honorable about the language I use.

I'm looking forward to future postings about how Father speaks to you through Wayne's "Naked Church." So far, I've only read "He Loves Me," and the Jake Colson book "So You Don't Want to Go to Church Anymore." Both were wonderful! I certainly want to read more.

~Amy :)

Tracy Simmons said...

Rich, that book of Wayne's was one of the first ones I ever read when we left the IC. Great first book for the journey for me.

Did your friend do the graphic on this post as well? Man, it's incredible!

Rich said...


Thanks for the encouraging words, they are so appreaciated.

Something I was sharing with a friend the other day was, in being so passionate, if there is NO compassion within it, it's like speaking the truth without Love.

What a Friend we have in Jesus.

One of the many things I love about our brother Wayne is, he is just Wayne, meaning, its not the international ministry of Wayne!

Oh how that stuff grates on me. When we met Wayne and Sara for the first time last year in July, it was connecting with a dear brother and sister, the same as it would be in meeting you or anyone else. Its who our Father is and what He is making known unto each of us that is captivating!

Rich said...


Isn't that cool how our Father not only knows what we stand in need of, but His timing is impecable.

I would love to hear more about you and your husband, you mentioned you both were in the ministrty. What are you doing now, as well as your husband?

The graphics were just a picture that spoke of what I am seeing, I found it on line.

Tracy Simmons said...

My husband headed back to college and got his master's degree in education and now works with special ed. students at our local high school. I always tease him that he's pastoring in there far more than he ever could at "church!" I headed back into the software industry for a few years (my degree is in electronics), but for the past 7+ years I've worked at home full-time for a local hospital as one of their neurology transcriptionists. I really wanted to be at home and this allowed me to do that. I'm attending college part-time as well (psychology, it fascinates me).

As far as how we now gather with believers, you can read about the Thrive group we're part of in these posts, if you're interested (best to start at the bottom and work your way up!):

By the way, my hubby's name is Rich,too. I have this fear I'm going to sign off on one of these comments with "I love you, sweetie" when I'm typing in the name Rich. :0). So, if you ever see it, now you know why. Ha-ha!