The Romans did build the viaducts…and together with several timeworn Asian civilizations, they kept their loam lively and loose via crop rotation. What a legacy! By the time Charles Townshend launched his four-crop merry-go-round of wheat, turnips, barley, and clover in the 18th century, he’d perfected the Roman legacy upon which we all rely today for bumper crops and healthy soil. The message: sustain by variety, and live to eat another day!
By contrast, monoculture leeches the land of nutrients and raises the specter of disease and disaster. We do it anyway, for the sake of organized agriculture and bloated profits, but the time-bomb of large-scale crop failure ticks into the future.
Funnily enough, church works the same way. If a congregation remains so homogenous that it thinks one way, looks one way, and functions one way, it ends up with a spiritual DNA so one-dimensional that it cannot dialogue with anyone else. At best, it risks a self-satisfied mediocrity, and, at worst, it evolves quickly towards anachronistic irrelevance!
The alternative church, a polyculture of thought and diversity, spawns emotional and spiritual growth by constantly sensitizing its members to the rich mix of human need and expression. It is, in effect, an umbrella under which different interdependent groups can shelter while enriching the congregation’s overall viability and experience of the Divine.
I know which model I prefer. What about you?