Donald Miller - out of the blue?

Donald Miller made his name when he wrote a book called, Blue like Jazz. I never read the book even though many people asked me to, but based on what people told me about it, I am not surprised by how things turned out. Recently, Donald Miller, made waves by suggesting that he doesn't go to church very often. May God change his mind.

His article capture well the thoughts of a growing segment of the evangelical church, but he could not be more wrong. Let's take a look at what he had to say.
I can only give camera angles on the issue because that’s how I think. I tend to see things from multiple angles and am comfortable not choosing “the right opinion” because I’m not convinced the right opinion is even on the table or that there is one in the first place. Many opinions can be right. Binary thinking causes more false dichotomies than true answers or helpful discussions, so I’ll avoid them as best I can. 
It is only too predictable how things will turn out (without the intervention of God), before long Rob Bell will have a new friend to join him. This statement reminds me of something Paul wrote, "always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth."
Some people believe church is the main place we worship God, that it’s superior and more sacred than worshipping with their family or friends or through other outlets such as work or daily life.
There are many places where we can and should worship God, but that does not mean we should stop going to Church. Corporate worship is assumed in the Bible. The Israelites went to the Temple, and the New Testament church gathered in churches. Many of the letters in the Bible are written to churches and the elders that were appointed to lead them (Titus 1:5). There was definitely structure and order within the New Testament churches, at least enough so you could address a letter to them. Church discipline also assumes this order. It is hard to excommunicate someone(1 Cor. 5:13) if they are not part of something, or they have chosen their own "church." However, the church is the only place where Jesus asks us specifically to remember Him in his death (1 Cor. 11). This is something that you can't do alone (or only with people you like/agree with), because of the warning that goes along with it. "For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself (1 Cor. 11:32)." The body that is being referred to is the church (1 Cor. 12:12-14)." When you come together, it is not the Lord's supper that you eat. For in eating, each one goes ahead with his own meal." Doing it alone does not recognize the church. Doing it only with people you like or agree with is a division, which also does not recognize the body of Christ. Therefore, the only place we can fully worship God in His redemption for us, is in the Church! That is definitely sacred!
Find me a theological rant of any stripe and I’ll show you a “thinker” using rational thought to defend the presuppositions of a tribe, likely in an effort to gain security or from a fear something is being taken away, in other words, rational thought fueled by feelings.
Of course we all have a bias, just like Donald Miller has a bias. That does not get us anywhere. If we are hopelessly stuck in our tribal thinking then why bother talking or writing blogs. Are we to hold all beliefs dispassionately to authenticate that our belief is true? The fact that we are all biased does not mean that certain "tribal" thinking cannot be true. Truth is truth in whatever tribe it is found. Not everybody can be part of the "not tribe" tribe.
Imagine the relationships people lose out on, the incredible life memories, the healing and community they aren’t involved in because they can’t engage or have community with people who do not agree with them theologically. I’ve no interest. People are either kind or mean. I choose kind ones, I don’t care what they believe. This is part of why I feel like my community is so healthy.
It is hard to believe that somebody who has read the Bible thinks they should be able to pick and choose the people who are part of their "church" (READ Romans 15:1-7),  although in some ways this is what denominations / groups are, but on a much larger level. When we believed in Jesus, we became identified with Him and part of His community (i.e. the church). We are not individuals before God, we are an individual, that is Jesus Christ. He is the offspring to which the promise was made. Our identities are so intertwined that when Saul was persecuting Christians, Jesus said, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?" Also, final judgment is based on how you treat those who part of His community. "Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me (Matt. 25:40)." Avoiding people who disagree with you is unhealthy at best, but is basically unchristian. What happened to loving your enemies?
In fact, I’d argue that by making the church smaller, less formal, less organized, less institutionalized and more like the chaos of a family structure, the church would be moving MORE toward the historical church in ACTS and less like a culture-formed institution by deconstructing itself. 
Although I think Donald Miller is deadly wrong in his idea of a "church" and his responsibilities to it, I do agree that the church structure is not ideal for this period in time, but I will write about that at a later time. Jesus died for the whole the church, and He loves each and everyone of us. If we don't care deeply for those in the church (whether we like them or not), it is unlikely that we have the spirit of Jesus living inside of us. Time will tell what will happen to Donald Miller, but if he continues down the path he is going, he will eventually be one of those who went out from us, if he has not already.
They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might be plain that they all are not of us (1 John 2:19).


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