“People leave the church as turtles or skunks. . .
Turtles crawl quietly out the back door, without bringing attention to the protest of their silent withdrawal.
Skunks leave at the front, where everyone can see them, where they can let everyone know how badly they will be missed,how they should have been listened to. They leave a smell behind that lasts a lifetime. A stinky reminder of the decision that divided.”
From My Gripes about the House Church Movement. Andrew Jones (circa 2002)
There is a discussion about one of my old house church articles called “House Churches have no sex appeal” on the ABCD Facebook group (The Association of Born-Again Church Dropouts.) I thought they might like to read the turtle article also so i left a link to it. More . . .
“Despite the vocal crowd who worship at the Cult of the New, Jesus is not infatuated with new wineskins. He likes both. But He is a connoisseur of vintage wine.
Wine that has sat under time, ripened, grown, perfected under the conditions. Wine like this is achieved only by permitting the new containers and preserving the old ones. Let the old wineskins be preserved. If you squirt fresh wine into them, they will burst. Spill. Jesus doesn’t like spillage. Jesus likes mature wine.
So we need wineskins also. Old wine in the old wineskins. New wine in the new wineskins.
Whatever. Whatever keeps it. Contains it. Preserves it. Gives it room to move and expand. Grow into what it is destined to be and securing it from disease.
Both. Freedom and safety. Creativity and security. Bubbly and still.
The heights of exploding taste and the depths of softened character.
Flavor and body. Cherries and oak. Cheekiness and gracefulness.
The wabi and the sabi. The vigor of youth and the wisdom of age.
Both, says Jesus. Both.
Both will be preserved.
But here is the challenge: To allow the new without threatening the old. To preserve the old without hindering the new. Those without wisdom choose one but not both. And the result is skunks and turtles.”
Andrew Jones, link