Wednesday, 15 November 2006

Liminality

Contemporary American religious commentator Richard Rohr makes the observation that the church fails to lead people to a threshold (liminal) experience of God. Far from transforming people, he suggests, the liturgy so often panders to popular ideas of making God comfortable....(see here for for example).
He notes that in order to to build community there needs to be a shared experience of this liminality.
Seems like a reasonable point to me. So much of what is offered by churches today is humdrum and non-challenging. Is it any wonder that people have ceased to belong.
With no shared threhold experience, no genuine enmcounter with God there is no puprpose in belonging.
I often suggest to people... why do you bother coming to Church if you are not prepared to be transformed by the encounter with God? I simply don't understand why people would tolerate all the crap unless there was some point in it all.

2 comments:

trevor said...

What a radical idea! The church as a transforming experience.

[sarcasm]
But doesn't everyone know that the purpose of church is to preserve and confirm the status quo, the worldly status quo?

Next you'll be claiming that the young Jew from Nazareth spent his relatively short life on this Earth living on the edge and pushing the boundaries around him.
[/sarcasm]

I sooo want to find a church or a group of believers who seek to push the boundaries, to go out on the edge, to go to where none of us have gone before, and to find in the young Nazarene the courage to keep on pushing and on going.

I suppose such thoughts would be regarded by "sensible churches" as just self-indulgent BS?

stephen clark said...

Once, when I was young, such a church existed!!