"Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Paul to the persecuted at Philippi (2:5-11)

25 January 2011

About Churches in the Year of the Rabbit

Someone posted on Facebook, and then a couple of someones posted on Facebook, some hoorah about how churches should be more like rabbits (small and lithe and reproducing frequently) than elephants. Cute. And, in the spirit its intended, it sort of works.

Except that anyone who knows rabbits knows that churches already ARE like rabbits. I have two as pets and let me tell you that there's more to rabbits than baby rabbits. They're not like tribbles, small and fuzzy and eager to reproduce. Rabbits are rabbits... in all their glory.

My rabbits were spayed before I got them. Like rabbits, churches are born with the ability to reproduce rapidly. All the equipment is there. Like many pet rabbits, most churches long ago took the surgical option. A quick anesthetized incision and all those complicated parts that lead to making new rabbits are removed. No fuss, no worry. The outside world likes it when rabbits/churches are neutered. It keeps them from being aggressive, they say. Controls the population. Can't have too many unwanted Churches out there hopping about.

Rabbits can actually be litter trained. Like my rabbits, most churches I know are fairly tidy, spend a lot of time grooming themselves and picking at one another. At the same time, they also enjoy sitting atop the pile of their own mess for no discernible reason. Unless given more productive things to do, they will also dig in their own messes and unknowingly throw it all over the place.

Rabbits, like most American Christians, are scared of their own shadow. They don't like to venture out far from the warren; they need a place to hide in order to be happy. Wanna really freak them out? Pick them up to try to groom them. Or come in to try to clean their pen. Rabbits like a clean space, but one of my rabbits firmly believes that the little broom I use to clean up after them is public enemy number one. The other likes to chew on the dust pan. If you think churches aren't like that just try pastoring one... make a few necessary changes and see who attacks the broom.

Rabbits, while cute and fuzzy, are actually capable of dying from choking on their own fluff. How many churches die from their own cuddliness? The gospel is not really cuddly. Its wonderful, but not fluffy. Never in the history of the earth did a timid fluffy bunny manage to get crucified.


  1. John Stott in a short book on evangelism titled, OUR GUILTY SILENCE, calls us "rabbit- hole Christians" scurrying from hole to hole (Christian community to Christian community) w/o interacting in the world we are located

  2. Ah, that reminds me of one of my favorite quotes: Bp. Ben Kwashi saying that God promises us that we will soar like eagles but most of us are more like chickens, head down, scratching the ground wondering where our next meal will come from.