A while back I posted a blog titled, “What’s in a Name?” It was my fun take on all of the new names churches assign to themselves, most of which give no clue concerning denominational affiliation. Other than thinking these decision-makers are a little silly and trying much too hard, I don’t have problems with what they choose to call themselves. This week, however, I came across a church website that gave me pause. One statement I read on this site was: “It’s an extremely scary, dangerous, exciting time to follow a God who is on the move in new ways in order to redeem a world in peril. The Resistance is our no-looking-back way of celebrating the good news of the end of Christian America. Together, as artists, poets, dreamers, and innovators, we will break all the rules and lay out the welcome mat for Church 2.0.”
The owner of this website is “The Resistance Church.” Further investigation of the site yielded additional information that troubles me. This group has Provocateurs rather than pastors. According to their definition, a provocateur is “an individual who provokes, excites, agitates.” Hopefully, these would not be verbs found in the job description of a pastor.
The manifesto posted by this “church” states that they are “an underground organization composed of individuals working together as an opposition force in conquered territory to overthrow the occupying power.”
This group opposes:
- Legalism or the “strict, literal, or excessive conformity to the law or to a religious or moral code”.
- Nationalism or “loyalty and devotion to a nation”.
- Fundamentalism or “a movement or attitude stressing strict and literal adherence to a set of basic principles”.
They also refer to, but do not name, “other similar isms.” Obviously, egoism is not one they oppose.
Resistance movements are usually formed to resist legally established governments. Think “Occupy Wall Street” and “American Resistance Movement.” So, wrongly, I assumed this was such a movement and that they had decided to steal the designation, “church,” from Christians in much the same way the Wiccan “Church” and the “Church” of Satan have done. However, while I continued to navigate the site, I came across this statement: “We are a community in the tradition of the Church of the Nazarene." Clicking a link directed me to information posted by the international headquarters of the church to which I belong. Additional searching on the internet located a site out there in the middle of fly-over country that listed this group as a recognized church in my denomination.
Angry. Disgusted. Concerned. I’m all of those things and I have to wonder if the leadership types in my denomination are too busy with the things of this world to be troubled with “minding the store.”