The Crowded House has Buddhist approval

I’m not sure what to make of this.

One of the women in our congregation works as a care assistant to a woman with a disability. She was talking with this woman and the woman’s cleaner, both of whom are Buddhists. They were asking her about why she came to Sheffield. She told them about coming to learn about church planting and about what our church we as like. The cleaner asked her what her church was called so she told her. ‘I thought it might be,’ the cleaner replied. ‘I was at a Buddhist retreat weekend recently and the trainer commended The Crowded House as a model. They said The Crowded House were good at creating community.’

I’m not sure whether the imprimatur of Buddhists is a blessing or not! I guess a good reputation with unbelievers is positive, but I suspect some of our more conservative friends might take this as confirmation of their worst fears. So let me relate another story …

Eight of us sat round the table on Tuesday. A pretty disparate group of people. My family. A teenage girl. A woman on disability allowance. A young man who works in a supermarket. A pregnant woman whose husband was away on business in London. It was beautiful. We ate a simple meal together, talked, laughed, shared our news, encouraged one another. And we broke bread together. As we did so I was struck again how this kind of community cannot be created by human effort or human vision. The Buddhists are wasting their time if they think The Crowded House is any kind of model that can be copied. This kind of community is created by the body and blood of Jesus. ‘We, though we are many, are one body because we all partake of the one loaf.’ It is the death of Jesus that brings together such disparate people and makes us family.

7 thoughts on “The Crowded House has Buddhist approval

  1. I recently was asked by a Buddhist if they would be welcome at our church without being pushed to become a Christian. This was my reply.
    Hello,

    I am Jason, the teaching pastor at the Journey. I received your email and found it very interesting.
    We are a new church with wonderful facilities, and a very welcoming environment, although, we are solidly based on the teachings of Jesus in regards to spirituality.
    I can confidently say that our community of young people would welcome you with open arms, and I do not believe that you would be “force fed” God and Jesus. Our community of people is authentic and non-judgmental. We believe that Jesus told us that we should not judge the world, but love the world so you would be loved for who you are.

    Having said that, our music is throroughly about the spirituality that is to be had through a relationship with Jesus. The teaching is thoroughly about Jesus as the true source of peace, contentment and forgiveness of sins. While no one would ever try to force you to make a decision to “accept Jesus”, He is the center of our story.

    You would be offered a place of safey and community with our people, but our mission is certainly to give people the opportunity through community, worship, prayer, and teaching to see and experience the love of Jesus that we believe in so deeply. END

    She intends to come to a service and I hope that we might be effective in living the “Model” of gospel so that she might embrace Christ as the only source of “enlightenment” and well…escape from Hell.

    Jason Martin
    Teaching Pastor of the Journey in Atlanta

  2. At face value I sense a great degree of “fear and separation” in this post:

    “I’m not sure whether the imprimatur of Buddhists is a blessing or not!”

    “I suspect some of our more conservative friends might take this as confirmation of their worst fears.”

    “The Buddhists are wasting their time if they think The Crowded House is any kind of model that can be copied.”

    Would such comments be the mark of “good community” whether human or divinely created?

  3. People talk of structure, process, etc. What I like about Crowded House is that it is not Purpose Drive but Presence Driven. They want and do experience the presence of Jesus when they are together. They offer Jesus. Life reproduces after it’s own kind. I wish there was a Crowded House community in Carlisle.

    Peace

    Tim

  4. Pingback: Coffee Break « fresh expressions…

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