relevance and "in order to"

I read a post a couple weeks ago about the irrelevance of the church to the unbelieving world. (I'm not going to mention the blogger here by name for fear of getting him in trouble with his censors.) It's been bugging me ever since, I guess because that concern is so irrelevant to my life right now. A lot of people talk about the "Christian bubble", this elaborate sub-culture we've created the American church to be. For people who can't stand that particular culture (or the music, or the jargon, or the fake way people smile when they ask you how you're doing), there isn't a lot of hope for belonging.

But I think the loss of "relevance" goes deeper than this. In systems in which people are viewed and valued as resources, function becomes everything, including the only basis for relationship. The system's focus, and eventually your own as a participant hones in on what you are doing and what you're seeking to accomplish. Instead of being Jesus in the world, participants fine-tune their roles as church boy and church girl. This being-doing distinction has been made many times over, but Phyllis finally wrote about Jung's four functions and archetypes, which I love to hear her talk about and I think bring some depth to this distinction. She wrote,
I've been learning a lot about Jung's four functions: thinking, feeling, doing, being, and the archetypes he referenced to illustrate these functions: magician (thinking), lover (feeling), warrior (doing), and sovereign (being). Theoretically there should be a balance to these functions in a healthy individual. Ideally, the magician, warrior, and lover should be submitted to a balaced sovereign, and the sovereign in touch with God. Interesting, I think.
I have this mental image of people submitting their over-developed warriors to the sovereign of the system's leader and slowly killing off their own. Soon you lose touch with your feelings, and your ability to think objectively about the parts of yourself you've lopped off to fit inside your very own cookie cutter.

I remember when we were so entrenched, the thing that haunted me was that we said to each other every time we pulled into our garage, "We should really have the neighbors over for dinner." But this never happened for two reasons. First, we were very busy spending time with Christians. But more importantly, we were so disconnected from our hearts that our motivation to do so would be to check it off our list again for the next three months, or to say our evangelistic effort had been made. We knew that was just gross, and who wants to subject another person to those hollow and manipulative motives? So we didn't call them. For months.

It saddened me to hear my blogger friend write about loving people simply because they exist--not in order to bring them to his church, change them or 'save' them--as if it were this profound idea. Love 'in order to' isn't love. That's called control and manipulation, marketing and sales. But when function is the basis for relationship, your 'goals' define your purpose (agenda) in relating to people, not your heart. Not God's heart.

I laid down my role as church girl, and there is room now to be the presence of Jesus in the world. It's amazing how the process of bringing the other functions under a balanced sovereign, who I am being in Christ, restores my abilities to think and feel. I invited my neighbors over last night. Simply because I missed them. For them, I think that is completely relevant.