Recently, someone asked me, “Frank, the other day I heard someone say that you’ve changed your views on the church since writing Pagan Christianity. I’ve read your blog since you started it, and I’ve never read or heard you say that. I even remember you saying that you have NOT changed your views on the church. Can you clarify this?”
My answer: You are correct on both counts. My views on the church have not changed since I wrote Pagan Christianity with George Barna. And yes, I’ve repeated that more than once on the blog. So I’m not sure where this idea came from. My only guess is that the person who made that remark hasn’t really read my work, but rather skimmed it, and came away with a misunderstanding.
The only things that have changed are:
- I no longer use the term “organic church” because it’s been hijacked so many times that it’s now meaningless. (Also, while many people use “house church” and “organic church” as synonyms, I do not. A “house church” and “the organic expression of the church” are not the same thing. To my mind, there’s nothing sacred about meeting in a house, thus I’m not an advocate of “house church.” I’ve written and spoken about this many times before.)
- Since 2012, I’ve been in a season where I’m not actively planting organic expressions of the church. Note that it’s a “season,” which means it’s not permanent.
- I’ve not written on ecclesiology (church matters) since 2009. Not because I’ve changed my views — I haven’t. But because I’ve said what I wanted to about the subject, I’ve moved on to those other topics that are aligned with my broader ministry. (My upcoming book, There Must Be More, will have many chapters on church issues, including my memoir on body life. But I wrote those chapters in the past. They just have never been printed before.)
So to repeat it again: I stand by every word I’ve written in Pagan Christianity, Reimagining Church, and Finding Organic Church. In fact, I believe what I wrote in those volumes more strongly today than I did in 2008 and 2009 when each title was released.
Point: Resist the urge to skim written material, especially online articles. Skimming often leads to missing nuance, which leads to misunderstanding, which leads to misrepresentation.
If you’re an author, get used to this.
One more thing. A gentle request, actually. Please don’t copy and paste any of these weekly articles on Facebook or your blog. The reason is that Google penalizes repeat content, and that hurts the blog. Instead, go to the specific article on my blog and use the social media “share buttons” below it to share it on your blog or your personal Facebook page (or Twitter).
I’d also appreciate it if you didn’t share my articles on any “Christian” Facebook groups. These groups are known for their viciousness and blood-letting. I prefer to stay clear of them directly and indirectly.
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