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Thursday, June 30, 2005

Jesus Christ and the Church of LCD

If you'll bear with me, I'd like to explore some of the thoughts I've been having lately about the church. These thoughts are strictly that...personal ponderings. They are in no way meant to claim that I think our church is doing things perfectly or that I am a pastor who has figured it all out. It's simply intended to get some conversation starting. They are meant to assess my ministry, as well as anyone elses. I plan on posting these thoughts in a series.

(Before we more on, I should establish what is meant by church. When I use the term, I mean the universal body of Christ. I am not referencing a specific body unless I also attach geography or a possessive pronoun.)

What is the Church of LCD? It's the church of the Lowest Common Denominator. No, it's not an actual denomination cropping up. Hopefully, no one is placing that description on their sign. In fact, it's a classification no one would want to admit to, even if it is applicable.


I just deleted a sentance I typed about the human race being adaptable. After I typed it, I stared at it and felt uneasy. We're not really that adaptable. When the Bible refers to the Israelites as a stiff-necked people (and other similar descriptions), we all feel the sting a bit. We all know we can be stubborn and dig in our heels. It's not so much that we adapt and change, as that we have the power to control our environment and change/adapt our surroundings.

I remember my mother-in-law telling me about the school she taught in for a short time. In this school district, students were struggling more and more in the math department. The school board got together to discuss this issue. Too many students were failing their math courses and possibly being blocked from graduation. The decision of the school board; they changed the grading scale for their math department, lowering the expectations. What happened there? Did they adapt? No, they adapted the situation to fit better around them. So the students still don't get algebra, but atleast they are getting C's now.

That balance in the church is always so tenative. We never change the message, it's our method that should always be changing. Yet, are there times that just by changing the method, we've also changed the message? Are we making sure we are being transformed, not that we are conforming the Body of Christ to fit who we already are.

This is not a post about any particular movement in the church. Whether seeker, emmergent, contemporary or traditional, the standard is the Word, not our style. But within whichever movement best descibes our church, are we reaching people where they are, but calling them to see their need to move beyond that place?

If you are frustrated by the vague nature of this post, I'll try to walk you through some of the specifics I've been thinking in the next few posts. Let me know what you think!


  • At 9:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    If you want a real mind-stretcher, try Robert Bork's(rejected supreme court justice nominee who give us the phrase (getting "borked") book "Slouching towards Gomorrah" He demonstrates the difference between "equal opportunity vs. equal outcomes." When the Declaration of Independence declares that "all men are created equal" it asserts equality of worth, not equality of ability. Obviously, everybody is not created with equal ability. So when liberal influences demand an equality of outcomes, it can only push the level of expectation down, not up. The lowest common denominator is the only acceptable standard. Students who rise above the norm and excel must be held back so that less capable students are not made to feel bad. Mediocrity is inforced as the rule. Competition is discouraged. And the church has not been immune from these influences.

  • At 9:51 AM, Blogger The Commish said…

    There is no doubt that mediocrity and the lowest common denominator is the way the world works today.

    I see this all the time in my wife's work as a teacher. Teachers are extremely discouraged from attempting to hold back a child for a year because, supposedly, it negatively affects a child psychologically.

    Therefore, teachers have a number of students in their class that should not be there and the teachers are forced to spend the majority of their time working with these kids rather than pushing the rest of the class forward. Teachers are forced to teach to the lowest common denominator in an attempt to achieve No Child Left Behind, which is a joke.

    OK, that probably has nothing to do with this subject that Danny originally proposed, but I do think we see this in all walks of society.


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