No, this is not another blog about another way of “doing church”!
It is inspired by the fact that I really enjoyed Eddie Arthur’s Pentecost post this morning!
Pentecost: Miracles Don’t happen
OK; miracles do happen – but stick with me on this one.
Sometimes the events of the day of Pentecost are presented something like this; the Spirit descended on the disciples, they reached out and preached in the streets in all sorts of languages, 3,000 people became Christians and the church was now a glorious multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-lingual group.
That’s a great story; but unfortunately, the New Testament picture is somewhat different in a few crucial respects. Yes, the disciples rushed out and preached in all sorts of languages (or were understood in different languages) and many people became believers (the term Christian is not appropriate at this point in the story). However, as we saw yesterday, the people who joined the disciples were all Jewish, this was not really a multi-ethnic group.
Eddie goes on to emphasise the point that, as we read further in the New Testament, we see that the early church was just like all our churches – brilliant yet flawed.
Eddie concludes with the words below, but do take a look at the rest of his blog – more good bits in between.
Sadly, there are no miracles which will make the church more diverse; only the gritty work of sharing, learning, making mistakes and forgiving one another. It isn’t glamorous, but it is the way forward for the church in our increasingly diverse world…
Just one final thought; part of the problem of integrating people into the early Church lay in the fact that the Jewish people saw themselves as being better than others; a privileged race. We wouldn’t be guilty of that would we?
Wouldn’t it be great if Bible translators , in fact all sorts of cross cultural missionaries, could have their own mini Pentecost and not have to struggle to learn minority languages? But God doesn’t seem to work that way…