Alan at The Assembling of the Church wrote a great post titled We Have A Short Memory. In it he talks about many of the modern traditions in the church, like Sunday School, Youth Ministry, Traditional Hymns, and how many of these things we consider staples of the Church are actually very new, but how we seem to think they have always been there just because they have been around during our lifetime. He says:
But, the church should never be based on our experiences… or our traditions, for that matter. The church is much more than that. Perhaps, this is why I love to look at the church in Scripture so much. In those images and stories and encounters and corrections and instructions, we find a beautiful picture of a timeless community built around the continued presence and work of Jesus Christ.
What if we forgot everything we thought we knew about the church? What if we looked at the Scripture with no preconceived ideas about what a pastor is, what baptism is, what ministry is, what worship is, what the church is, what the church does, what the Lord’s Supper is, what an elder is, what a deacon is, what service and leadership are … I’m sure we could go on, but how painted by our experiences and traditions (our short term memory) are our opinions and practices as the body of Christ? I think it would be naive to say that our views are completely Biblical (even the organic/house church folks) and that our experiences and traditions have not affected the way we see what we read in the Bible.
God, I pray that you grant us short term memory loss so that we can look at the Scriptures without all the junk we have built around it.
I wonder what we would see differently?