One more week, one more bible study/home group/whatever-you-want-to-call-it. I was expecting to start a study on Jeremiah or Ezekiel. No: apparently all bible study groups at my church are to eventually do the four week course called “Just Walk Across The Room”. And between last week and this, a copy became available for us.
It’s a DVD plus study guide from Bill Hybels of Willow Creek based on a book by the same name. It is, essentially, Christian teachings about how to evangelise.
On the surface, this is a good thing. Using modern mass-media technologies, we can do nearly what the early early church did: have a guest speaker come into out group and talk and teach. The only drawback with that structure is that it is one-way. Otherwise, so far so good.
But the church as an institution has been trying to teach its congregation how to evangelise for decades if not centuries. Having been a church-goer all my life, I can remember some of the gradual shifts in teaching. Much teaching when I was an adolescent seemed to be focussed in teaching to everyone what came automatically to those with the gift of evangelism, for example. “Just Walk Across The Room” is recent enough that it doesn’t do that: it starts with saying that evangelism happens when you act yourself. The title, in fact, comes from Hybel’s pithy observation that Jesus would walk across a room if necessary to meet someone’s need.
For me, however, the bigger problem is that I am much less Christian now than I was six months ago. When I sit and meditate to pray, I don’t see Yahweh waiting for me: I see Cernunnos, often called The Horned God. This is a god of Wicca, not Christianity. Meanwhile Yahweh is off doing his own thing, happy to leave me with Cernunnos. But one big thing Wicca does not do is evangelise.
This puts me in a little bit of a pickle. My home group know I am on a spiritual journey (and I called it a quest tonight for the first time). They don’t know it is taking me away from the familiar stomping grounds of Jesus and Yahweh. And I’m not ready to tell them. Unfortunately, it seems I must either fake Christianity for a few weeks as we not only hear about Hybel’s current teaching about evanglism but partake in practical steps to improve it, or I finally bow out of my home group, undoubtedly leaving more questions than answers.