SNAPSHOT: The Underground Church: Reclaiming the Subversive Way of Jesus, Meyers

Robin Meyers is minister of the Mayflower UCC in Oklahoma City.

Table of Contents

Prologue: Empty Sermons, Empty Pews
1 Sweet Jesus
2 The Early Church that Never Was
3 Waking Up in Bed with Constantine
4 Onward Christian Soldiers?
5 Faith as Radically Embodied Trust
6 Renewing the Church Through Shared Mission
7 Leavening the Imperial Loaf
8 Jesus Followers on the No-Fly List
9 The Underground Church on War, Sex, Money, Family, and the Environment
Epilogue: Beyond belief

From Publisher

A new way to follow Jesus that draws on old ways of following Him

The Underground Church proposes that the faithful recapture the spirit of the early church with its emphasis on what Christians do rather than what they believe. Prominent progressive writer, speaker, and minister Robin Meyers proposes that the best way to recapture the spirit of the early Christian church is to recognize that Jesus-following was and must be again subversive in the best sense of the word because the gospel taken seriously turns the world upside down.

No matter how the church may organize itself or worship, the defining characteristic of church of the future will be its Jesus-inspired countercultural witness.

Debunks commonly held beliefs about the early church and offers a vision for the future rooted in the past

Proposes that the church of the future must leave doctrinal tribalism behind and seek a unity of mission instead

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu said,”Robin Meyers has spoken truth to power, and the church he loves will never be the same.”

My Rough Notes

Prologue: Empty Sermons, Empty Pews

“Sunday morning countless people wake-up with both a desire to go to church and a gnawing sense that it won’t be worth it. They know that they ought to go, but that if they do so it will be mostly out of habit or guilt rooted in childhood. Few wake is with a sense of real longing or anticipation for what might happen in the sanctuary. Many have accepted boredom as the cross one must bear for church attendance. They expect little more from worship than social respectability, often wrapped in the dull air of familiarity. The last thing anyone thinks about church is that it might be dangerous.”

1 Sweet Jesus; Talking His Melancholy Madness
People were saying “He has gone out of his mind.” Mk 3:21
Nowhere in the liturgies of the church does a Christian promise to “be crazy like Jesus was crazy.”
Start with a confession: when it comes to Jesus, we know practically nothing.
“He comes to us as one unknown, without a name, as of old, by the lakeside, He came to those men who knew Him not.” Schweitzer

A new search for a new church
We so often read the Bible as if it were a collection of arguments that we fail simply to listen to the story
Conservatives confuse certainty with faith, whereas liberals insist that knowledge alone is redemptive.
We need a quest to separate the followers of history from the believers of faith.

Crazy is as Crazy does
The Good News could only be heard and considered ‘good’ if someone, somehow, someday could get Rome off their backs.

Whether following Jesus today in ways consistent with the practice of his first followers would make us susceptible to exactly the same charge— that we have lost our minds.

Week after a week we sit in the pews and listen to the the words of the man of melancholy madness joined to a sermon that is often about positive thinking the wealth management.

What would make this American Empire realise that we are not called to be its compliant acolyte?

2 The Early Church that Never Was

How are you understanding of the early church is defective in three important respects:

First, thinking the church was a single entity. Second assuming they took their direction from apostolic authority. Third assuming that Jesus was with a “spiritual” teacher with no interest in politics and that the Roman Empire was not the object of the Ministry induces

what led to the remarkable growth of Christianity for three centuries was not the attraction of competing doctrines. The first Jesus followers were not, as some many churches are today, communities of conformity.

They did not fashion creeds and demand that they be taken as vows. Rather they simply refused to worship Caesar stopped practicing animal sacrifice, through open the doors of their underground assemblies to all who would come, redistributed wealth, and made the dangerous claim that “Jesus Christ was Lord”.

3 Waking Up in Bed with Constantine

4 Onward Christian Soldiers?

5 Faith as Radically Embodied Trust

6 Renewing the Church Through Shared Mission

7 Leavening the Imperial Loaf

8 Jesus Followers on the No-Fly List

9 The Underground Church on War, Sex, Money, Family, and the Environment

Epilogue: Beyond belief

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