The other evening I attended a talk by Mark Greene, it was organised by the Cymru Institute for Contemporary Christianity http://cicconline.org.uk/and was entitled: 'Of Logic, Logos and Me Plc’. It was a look at what powers and forces help shape our culture today.
I like Mark Greene and have enjoyed listening to him and reading his stuff before: so it was no surprise that the quality of insight and humour was all there (although there were a number of points with which i would want to have taken issue along the way). Perhaps it all stopped a little short and a little early ... because I had one burning question about breastfeeding in church that never got asked.
In one of his illustrations Mark spoke of how a favourite teddy or toy is often introduced by a mother when weening the child off breast milk. The idea is that an object is introduced as a temporary substitute for the relationship that is being broken. Mark argued persuasively that this is often what happens in the contemporary advertising industry ... it seeks to offer us (sell us) objects that substitute themselves as the antidote to our longings for love, affirmation purpose and contentment when really these are only discovered through an encounter with God and grace. Thus the industry keep us in a perpetual infantile stage of life ... always seeking a quick superficial satisfaction to perceived needs rather than attending to what is of greatest worth in us.
All this I agree with ... except it seems to me that so much of church life seems to mimic the advertising agencies ... substituting themselves, their programmes and their busyness, their celebrities and their products along with their often over-simplistic systems of theology as the ready made antidote to our deepest longings ... stifling the space and time that might otherwise be used to enable a real encounter with God.
So it was I wanted to ask:
Are our churches keeping us perpeutually infantile?
Is there too much breast feeding of disciples?
When are we ever going to come-of-age
and what will church look like if we do?