Steeple Envy is the story of Vic Cuccia and his journey of losing religion and “rediscovering Jesus.” Vic was pastor at a mega-church who had a holy crap moment that led to his leaving his position so he could rethink and relearn his Christian faith.
I appreciate his ability to speak in honest terms about where he came from and where he is now. He does not mince words and some may find it offensive. Particularly those who are in a similar evangelical subculture that he came out of. Been there, done that….He speaks frankly about the priorities of some churches, issues of finances and a larger meaning of loving your neighbor. Some may take his words as harsh, yet what he says has a certain prophetic edge that many evangelical(and not) Christians need to hear if they are willing to hear the Spirit speak….
He also speaks candidly regarding the church and our evangelical tendency to measure success by numbers and not relationships His overarching view of the church may put off some in the evangelical mainstream as well as those outside in the house/simple church movement. The mainstream may tend to see him as too radical and the house church crowd as too compromised. In either case Vic sees both as expressions of the Body of Christ. We could haggle for days about the effectiveness and purity of those expressions, but when it comes down to it, in faith we should be able to see the Body of Christ expressed in various ways in the multiplicity of local churches.
One passage did strike a cord. It struck me because I believe it but I also struggle with it.
To be a follower of Jesus and to give up on the Church makes no sense to me. You can’t give up on the Church because, whether you like it or not, you are the Church! It’s not an institution or the place where we meet. The Church is and always has been the people of God.
I believe these people, Baptist, Catholic, Orthodox, Mainline or whatever…constitute the Body of Christ. Not the cathedral, chapel, converted warehouse or mega campus, but the people. Not the programs, but the people. My struggle is finding the people which I should belong, call family. I admit, I am a restless soul. I might be a constant nomad. These people, wherever they are on their journey, are my sisters and brothers. I will not despise them. I might disagree and argue with them. In the end, they are family. deserving respect, care and most of all, love.
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