Friday, December 09, 2005

Out of Control...

One of my all-time favorite thinkers/writers/protagonists is Len Sweet. If you're not familiar with him...shame, shame. I've only heard him speak once in my life, but it was full of grace, wisdom, and brotherhood.

I stumbled across this on his site today. A lot to chew on, I know. (I wonder what would happen if we dropped the BF&M statement from our church polity and added the Magna Charta of Trust below...

I am part of the Church of the Out-of-Control.

I once was a control junkie, but now am an Out-of-Control Disciple. I've given up my control to God. I trust and obey the Spirit. I've jumped off the fence, I've stepped over the line, I've pulled out all the stops. There's no turning back, looking around, slowing down, backing away, letting up, or shutting up. It's life Against the Odds, Outside the Box, Over the Wall, the game of life played Without Goal Lines other than "Thy Will Be Done . . . ."I am not here to please the dominant culture. I live to please my Lord and Savior. My spiritual taste-buds have graduated from fizz to froth to Fire and Ice. Sometimes I'm called to sharpen the cutting edge, and sometimes to blunt the cutting edge.

Don't give me that old-time religion. Don't give me that new-time religion. Give me that all-time religion that's as hard as rock and as soft as snow.I've stopped trying to make life work, and started trying to make life sing. I am finished with second-hand sensations, third-rate dreams, low-risk high-rise trades and goose-stepping, flag-waving crusades. I no longer live by and for anything but everything God-breathed, Christ-centered, and Spirit-driven.I can't be bought by any personalities or perks, positions or prizes. I won't give up, though I may give in . . . to openness of mind, humbleness of heart, and generosity of spirit. In the face of adversity no longer will I hang in there. I will stand in there, I will run in there, I will pray in there, I will sacrifice in there, I will endure in there -- in fact I will do everything in there but hang. My face is upward, my feet are forward, my eyes are focused, my way is cloudy, my knees are worn, my seat uncreased, my heart burdened, my spirit light, my road narrow, my mission wide.I won't be seduced by popularity, traduced by criticism, travestied by hypocrisy or trivialized by mediocrity.

I am organized religion's best friend and worst nightmare. I won't back down, slow down, shut down, or let down until I'm preached out, teached out, healed out or hauled out of God's mission in the world entrusted to members of the Church of the Out-of-Control . . . to unbind the confined, whether they're the downtrodden or the upscale, the overlooked or the underrepresented.My fundamental identity is as a disciple of Jesus -- but even more, as a disciple of Jesus who lives in Christ, who doesn't walk through history simply "in his steps," but seeks to travel more deeply IN HIS SPIRIT.Until he comes again or calls me home, you can find me filling not killing time so that one day he will pick me out in the lineup of the ages as one of his own. And then . . . it will be worth it all . . . to hear these words, the most precious words I can ever hear:
"Well done, thou good and faithful...Out-of-Control Disciple."

I know, I know. "There's no doctrine in there anywhere." Or is there? thoughts: Sign me up. It's the Revolution I've been looking for.
...your thoughts?


At 3:14 PM, Blogger -tg2 said...

I'm so signing-up for that.

At 3:46 PM, Blogger Marty said...

Wow! Sign me up too. Throw out that 2000 BF&M for this and I just might return and be "baptist" again. Christ has indeed given us, ALL of us, the freedom to serve Him in whatever capacity He has called. No limits, out of any one's control except God's. Great post Tom!

At 3:54 PM, Blogger Marty said...

Ah...just looked at Len Sweet's site. No wonder I liked this. I thought it sounded a lot like John Wesley. A good United Methodist brother. Still another reason I joined this church!

At 7:44 PM, Blogger tom cottar said...

Yeah, Len is great. Not too shabby for a shallow-water baptist! (Some of the best dances I ever attended as a teen were at my [then]girlfriend's methodist church.

Don't know if any of you have read Soul Tsunami or Soul Salsa or Carpe Manana...great stuff.

What other sites/authors/thinkers speak to you? Maybe there's somewhere we can complile a list of online resources we can all contribute to...

At 1:47 PM, Blogger Jimmie W. Kersh said...


How dare you allow this trash on your site.

That is ridiculous, outrageous, ostentatious and simplistic to say the least. Who in their right mind would ever seek the silliness of the out of control? Those people are scary they are the real freaks. These types of sell-outs begin revolutions and are killed for it.

Can’t these out of control people leave our religion alone? We have our way of doing things; we do not need their kind. These people give religion a bad name because they seem holier than us. Tell these freaks to stop it. We do not need their kind in our lives.

This silly idea was brought into our churches in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s by the Jesus movement. Can’t the hippies finally just leave our religion alone? We are pious and happy to be like we are. We do not need to have this sort of thing in our lives.

Tell those who would associate with people who would propagate this heresy of being out of control that they are not welcome in our churches. Let these fanatics that their brand of faith is not acceptable to us.

Pray for the souls of these people for they know not what they do!


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