Does Modernism or Post-Modernism give the church its real heartburn? Has one group been weened from Batsell Barret while another from Marvin P and the twain shall never meet? Has allegiance to the KJV drawn the line for the NASBers? Excuses to be disunified are as abundant as banks on street corners. But what is the real reason?
Of the five or ten you all might select, I'll give you one of my top-rated reasons. I think our people are too self-centered which results in shyness. Our people will tend to give great amounts of money for significant causes as long as they don't have to be personally tagged to say something....anything. We don't want discomfort. Too many of our people will quit first.
Paul told Timothy God does not give us a spirit of timidity. So where have we come up with the biblical right to allow the majority of our members to practice the very spirit God does not give us? Why is shyness not one of those doctrines which would eliminate a congregation being listed in "the" book?
Why do some not want hands raised in our assemblies (even though it is biblical)? Is it because of arthritis? Bad elbows? It certainly isn't because of Bible teaching. It is always because of embarrassment. Some don't want to do it; but it isn't enough they be allowed not to. They impose their insecurity on others because this is embarrassing to them. Shy wins.
Of all the wonders of doctrine Jesus could have proposed, why do you think it important to him to mention assertive greetings of those not brothers? He expects us to open up to the world....aggressively. Yes, I've seen shy; I began my ministry as one deacon put it---the most introverted man I ever met. And I've seen shy (couldn't speak/couldn't look at people), my wife is one. But I've watched Jesus change her to one who serves and prays now with strangers in the food pantry every week. God will help us get over shyness.
We've created some funny rules over the years. Many of them came about because we were protecting someone who was living within a shell of fear. Rather than eliminate fear with the biblical approach of love (it casts out fear), we have groomed it in every church in every generation. Thus, the real terror to Christianity sits in our own pews and silently begins to hyper-ventilate because the assembly or the direction makes them....uncomfortable. The kingdom has moments of enormous discomfort.....as in the cross.
Yes, we have moved along way (in our profession of being true as the early church) from that strong stand of, Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to your rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking what we have seen and heard (Acts 4:19-20).
We will gain momentum each time we convert from fear to love.