Fight Clubs 3: Fighting with the Church

I recently started a Fight Club with a couple of other men, so that we could better disciple one another in the gospel.  The name Fight Club is based on a book by Jonathan Dodson, from Austin City Life.  I decided this would be a good time to re-read the book and make some notes.  Here are the notes from my reading:

The Failure of Accountability:

Our churches should be filled with fighting – there are many things worth fighting for – justice, peace, healing, perseverance, faith, one another and for the gospel.  The problem is that most of us either don’t fight at all or fight for the wrong things.

We often bully through what is called accountability groups – holding a person accountable to a checklist of virtues, often stated in the negative.  Although these groups often start with a noble intention they often end up either producing more wimps and bullies.  Good intentions slide into legalistic or loose obedience where we punish one another for not keeping the rules.  Performance replaces obedience.  Failures to perform may be punished through graduated penalties.

confession in such contexts is relegated to keeping from doing it making discipleship a duty-driven, rule-keeping journey.  We fight against the church instead of with her.

Confessional Booth:

Another form that accountability groups can take is that of a confessional booth.  We confess our sins and depart absolved of any guilt.   These groups become circles of cheap grace, through which we obtain cheap peace from a troubled conscience.  Confession is divorced from repentance, reducing morality to half-hearted morality.  Accountability becomes a man-made mix of spineless confession and cheap peace.  It lacks the urgency required by the fight of faith.

Confessing sin to purge our conscience becomes most important, while we play fast and loose with our devotion to Jesus.  Many of us practice a confession, hollow and loose discipleship.

We need to remove accountability from the centre and replace it with the Gospel.  We need to orbit around Jesus not rules or confession.  Instead of groups gathered around accountability, we must gather around Jesus.

It is not only will we fight but how will we fight that is important.

You can get a copy of Fight Clubs here.

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~ by John on December 10, 2010.

One Response to “Fight Clubs 3: Fighting with the Church”

  1. […] reading here. Tags: book review Category: Uncategorized | Comments […]

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