We Rogues, in order that we may stand in solidarity with those of our generation and with those who proclaim the same faith in Christ and in his established Kingdom on Earth, have labored to pour the foundation of the cause for change in the churches from which we are parted. Our generation, with capacities for communication and knowledge the likes of which this world has never known, has seen that it is fit to stand aside from the long standing churches. Not so that they may be weakened by our absence. Not so that we may stand clear of the wreckage as they fall, for we do not intend for the Church to fall. For while it is partly by choice that we stand aside, it is also of a necessity to clear ourselves from that which we have found bitter. From the lack of warmth we found as we reached this point in our lives. A point at which we find that since we were not of an age or stage of life where a church can fully benefit from our existence, it has forgotten about us until we are at an age and stage of life where it can. Forgotten until we are ripe, and a church may gain from our fruit. Forgotten except to be criticized for being the products of the generations before. Generations who point out our branching flaws without realizing it was they who planted their seeds and fostered their growth. And like the cycles of history predict, the generations before us hold firm to the establishment which they feel invested in, and in turn desire for us to invest in as well. And they believe that the returns of that investment are in danger because we have not invested. But this is not our intention. Even in our cynicism, we do not desire to destroy the establishment we find bitter. We do not even stand in opposition of it. We wish to stand to one side so that we may objectively and more effectively critique that which we have experienced. So that we may find the cracks in the foundation and the weaknesses that have formed in the structure. So that we may, from the outside inward, remodel that which we have found weakened. So that we may heal that which we diagnose as unhealthy. For while these churches have been brought up through the Holiest and most Divine of inspirations, not one stands that has not been influenced by the corrupt nature of man. Not one stands that does not need reform with regularity in order that it may become healthier, a more vibrant light shining in a truer likeness of the purpose God intended for it. No church stands in perfection.
And it is to the purpose of this reform that we pour the first layer of our foundation. It is out of this desire that we Rogues have chosen to speak. And it is our hope that our words and methods are indeed in solidarity with others of our generation who have felt forgotten, who are not yet ripened to a church’s liking because we choose to live our lives differently than the generations before. Because we choose out of necessity to take our time in matrimony, and childbearing, and because monetarily we are either in infancy or are climbing out of a grave. We believe that while many like us have stepped aside from the church, we have not stepped aside from the faith. To the contrary, many of us are taking strides deeper into our faith, deeper into the Kingdom for which we persist to serve. And it is through our persistence in study, and in prayer, and in fellowshipping with the outward community that we have gained vision clear enough to find these flaws in the established churches. Our experience, which is unique to our generation because of our position in history, has given us the ability to see not only that a church is in need of reform but also how to facilitate such reform. To see the most effective ways to bring forth this reform.
It is from our experience of being forgotten, and from our experience of the greater community around us that we see the need for greater compassion in the church. The church has focused so long and so intensely at conformity to its established rules that it has looked past the multitudes it has unconsciously outcast. Mankind’s natural desire to make something grow and it’s nearsighted vision of what that growth entails has caused it to value above all others those who can aid in facilitating greater growth. That desire leaks into a church, and thus has caused the church not only to forget our generation but to forget any demographic of humanity that does not offer an obvious promise of return. That desire has driven out its derivative. For a church and the Church both desire growth, but the Church does not grow by increasing equity. The Church, being the Body of Christ on Earth, can only grow by increasing its reach into the lives of the world. The growth of the Church is evident by its actions. It cannot be quantified, and its palpability is beyond numeric value. It grows as those who make up the Great Body carry with them compassion for all they encounter. And it is only with great movements of compassion that the Body can overcome the atrophy it has suffered through ages and generations of stagnation. As our human bodies weaken and become unhealthy without regular movement and exercise, so a church also becomes unhealthy when it does not exercise compassion for all souls. It is to the end of overwhelming compassion that we desire such reform in churches everywhere.
And it is not without great effort and changes to the structure of a church that this reformation may be achieved. If we take it as a given that mankind’s warped nature has caused a church to miscalculate both the means and amount of its growth, then we must assume that the evolution of the churches since the last Great Reformation has also become warped. I state again, while churches are formed and planted with the most Holy and Divine of inspirations, they are not free from the corruption of humanity. While they are of our great and perfect Father, they are on an imperfect Earth. And we Rogues are not assuming that if another reformation happens in our time that it will not also eventually result in an imperfect, unhealthy church. However we feel it is our sincerest duty to guide and steer the Church and established churches into the direction of its ideal, of the purpose of God’s Kingdom. Even should moving in such a direction mean that churches revert to earlier and simpler forms, it would be better for them to move backwards than for them to continue to move farther off course.
Adaptation to new times are of absolute necessity for the Church to thrive, to grow, and to bear fruit. And it cannot be doubted that the world the Church exists in today shows more apathy toward the Church than it ever has throughout history. And it is in times of Great Awakenings and Great Reformations that the Church saw its greatest days, and showed its moving power most abundantly. Times where the Church adapted, changed, and reached out to the world with a message that was for ALL.
We Rogues do not desire for the churches to undergo reformation and adaptation on their own. Our stance is not an ultimatum or a list of prerequisites to our return. We do not intend for the work to be done for us. We Rogues and others of our generation desire to do the building ourselves, to lay the foundation and the mortar, to carry the timbers and stones along with our fellow Christians. What we ask is that the churches open their eyes and see that we are not fools. We are not lazy. We are not heretics. We are engineers of change. And we desire the churches to see that there is a need in this day and age for change. A need to show the world that we are the very entity of Christ’s compassion and love on this world, because this World has not seen us this way for a long time.
See that reform is desperately needed. See that we are here, tools and instruments in hand, ready to rebuild, remodel, and re-strengthen our churches.