I recently finished reading The Myth of a Christian Religion by Gregory Boyd. Overall, his approach is similar to the one I will take in Close Your Church for Good. He reveals how the church has become seduced by various powers which have kept us from living according to Kingdom principles. After laying the groundwork for this premise, he writes about various subjects that the church must avoid in order to revolt against these powers and return to living like Jesus. For example, he calls for a revolution in the areas of judgment (chap. 4), nationalism (chap. 7), racism (chap. 10), and greed (chap 11).
It was a good book, and I really appreciated how he approached each subject with grace and tact. After presenting an area of concern, he gave suggestions, but always with gentleness and respect, knowing that the Spirit may lead you or I to respond differently.
And that brings me to my only difficulty with the book. I think that he didn’t go far enough. Greg implies that though most churches in the world are enslaved to the Powers, he and his church have found a better way. I have never visited his church, but my guess is that if I did, I would not be able to tell that it was much different from almost any other church in town. He’s made some changes which I think are a move in the right direction, but are they enough to reverse the course we are on?
It’s like a Playboy photographer who doesn’t look at Playboy magazines, or a Tobacco Company CEO who doesn’t smoke, or a BP Oil Executive who drives a hybrid. If you’re still part of an abusive, exploitive, damaging system, who cares if you make a few tweaks with your own involvement?
Maybe what we need is not a revolution, or even another reformation. What we need is a death and resurrection.