Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Brokenness, a Neccessary Component of our Faith

To be broken and have a contrite heart is virtually lost on todays evangelicals.

We don't weep over sin.

We don't confess our sin - to man or God.

We don't even acknowledge it as real . . .

We probably wouldn't even fall to the ground and weep over the glories of the cross as Jonathan Edwards did (when he fell off his horse overhelemed with what Christ did).

Check out this excellant article on brokeness from
Cerulean Sanctum:
The Battle for Brokenness


Brian said...

Recently I have been thinking about this subject, and I am beginning to come to different conclusions than what I used to think. To begin with, I think a "type" of brokeness is a necessary component of faith - but not always in the same vein as what is being discussed here. As much as I love Jonathan Edwards and the puritans, sometimes I think their version of brokeness was almost as harmful as the version of brokeness that is being contrasted in this discussion. I see the whole revivalistic mentality that took root in America during the Great Awakenings as a big contributor to the poor state of the church in America. Brokeness became the primary "sign" of conversion, and the focus of salvation turned to individualistic experience, rather than corporate. In the example of both scriptures that are provided, brokeness was necessary because of sinful rebellion against God. Because of the rampant rebellion during the Great Awakenings, many people were experiencing this type of brokeness, which was good. But this is not the primary component of biblical faith. Faith expresses itself in many ways, and even brokeness comes in different packages. For instance, I would posit that the normative posture of brokeness should not come in the prayer closet (or falling off a horse)as we reflect on how sinful and undeserving we are of God's grace, but in the weekly gathering of the church as she kneels before God and makes public confession. Certainly there are times when the former are appropriate, and even necessary (it happens to me whenever I read Ephesians 1), but they are put in proper perspective when they are buttressed by the liturgy of confession. In fact, in a nutshell, this is the problem: the western church has forsaken liturgy in favor of experience. And so brokeness is now the touchstone of faith, rather than obedience and trust. The Bible, though, says the opposite. In Matthew 18, Jesus tells the disciples how faith should look - like a child's. A child's faith looks like trust - not brokeness. Jesus made himself available to the children, and they came to him. They did not hesitate and consider their worthlessness - or even His greatness - before climbing into His arms. Christ does this for us today. He gives Himself to us through the church - the Word, the bread, the wine, and the water. His only requirement? Trust. So is brokeness a necessary component of faith? I'd say no. But it is a beautiful aspect of mature faith when placed in the right perspective.

Guiseppi said...

Brian, I appreciate your insight here. Brokenness is lost in many areas.

I only emphasis the individuals need to be broken because it is lost in many of our lives.
My thinking is that people today are so pre-occupied with themselves, that they see no need to be broken or even know how to be broken. I see this as a problem that hinders believers today. We do not experience the Spirit like we should or the joy of the Lord.

You have some good words on liturgy vs. experience. I am not talking about experience instead (or at the expense) of liturgy.

Maybe we should encourage both as necessary - individual brokenness along with corporate brokenness.