Most people, institutions, movements – living organisms start barbaric – clear focus on what they are about, want, need. Then comes domestication where normalcy, potential for loss, reason steps in… Reason, maturity, discernment and prudence are admittedly good things.
Yet, some domestication can be negative – cause effective people, movements, institutions to lose themselves, lose why they got into “it” anyway…. Many a person wakes up decades later with “gain” in so many ways, but they’ve lost who they are – why they got into “it” in the first place, have no joy, no real lasting contribution to the years spent that they’ll never get back and either than resign themselves to being domesticated, or they make radical shifts, walking away from the shackles and actually feel freedom, even in loss, to be who they know they are, and were called to be….
This is also true of movements… within the church!
4. Patrick’s Celtic movement was finally domesticated when it reached the reduced Roman empire and the church reigned it in under their domesticated proper authority.
5. The Methodists were born from resistance by the domesticated Church of England…
6. The Salvation Army was born when the domesticated Methodists loss their original spark and calling…
7. The Red Cross began as a radical battle field care – then a civil disaster response force nationally and internationally. While still respecting them, we’ve noted something that has changed…. The Red Cross became domesticated, risk averse, moving away from real impact after a disaster, from being on site to food and blankets, 1st Aid classes, etc. They certainly aren’t on the battlefield any longer. It’s a shame. Yep, their new roles are needed and maybe they are the right people to do them, but… those secondary roles took over and they’ve lost themselves. Shame, really.
We too often do this – settle, domesticate and lose the fire of living a life with the intent, purpose and call God has for us to participate in what He’s doing in the neighborhood, community and world right around us: the participatio Christi! …a shame, really.
May we throw off domestication and live wild barbarian lives, radical, ruined to domesticated safe faith, that doesn’t offend, doesn’t make waves, doesn’t challenge the status quo, but lives a crazy life of love, sacrifice and blessing, announcing the Kingdom to a world that is dying to be healed!