Home > Christianity, Church, community, Jesus, Quakers > Rooted Mobility – An Acts 15 Overview, Part 1

Rooted Mobility – An Acts 15 Overview, Part 1

Acts 15 has become one of my favorite chapters in the Bible.

That statement is somewhat of a surprise to me. At first appearance, it seems to be about the early church and its decision to not require circumcision of Gentile believers who were accepting the message of Jesus in large numbers. (As a side note, I’ve always wondered how they “checked” about circumcision – was it someone’s job? If so, in the words of the immortal Mr. T, pity the fool…)

Yet as I have spent more time looking at what is going on in this chapter of Acts, I am realizing that it has great applicability to the church today, especially the Quaker church.

I could go on about how, in my opinion, the Quaker church is uniquely situated to be an important voice for the word today – but I’ll just let you read earlier posts about that – here and here.

The issue the early church was dealing with is not unlike an issue the church is dealing with today.

It goes something like this:

One voice says: church is not relevant to the needs of the world today! The forms and structures get in the way of vital faith. We need to blaze trails, do things new, move away from the rigid structure and go with the flow.

Another voice says: defining a rigid theology is the only way to combat a world that is losing a sense of what it means to be followers of Jesus. The gospel of Jesus is hard hitting, takes prisoners, and can only be interpreted and understood one way. We are that way. Get on board or be wrong.

Both of these groups tend to err on the side of their way being the way.

But as I read Acts 15, it seems that what we need is what I have termed a “rooted mobility.”

(As a side note, anyone else catch the Quaker meeting happening in Acts 15? It’s there!)

What is rooted mobility? Perhaps the best way to describe is like the old Miller Lite commercial. Two groups argue over which aspect of Miller Lite is the best – that it tastes great or that it’s less filling.

It’s an either/or argument that is unnecessary (I’m guessing, as I’ve never tasted Miller Lite).

But the early church is trying to decide between two sides, both of which are needed in the church:

Are we to be a people holding tightly to tradition?

Or are we to be a people who blaze trails into the unknown?

The decision in acts is to be both/and – to be rooted and also mobile.

And this is our call today, as the church – a call to rooted mobility.

Over the next few days I’m going to explore what rooted mobility means, but in short, I believe it is best defined as:

Holding Loosely, Walking Lightly and Loving Boldly

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