Apologist Amy Orr-Ewing addressed the Evangelical Alliance’s Leadership Conference 2022 by saying how ‘mass-production religion’ led to people to exhaustion last Thursday.
The author speaker likened the Church to large-scale agriculture, Christian Today reported. According to her, the "Christian life is meant to be cultivated." It should be "proactively "and "personally" cultivated by God, whom she referred to as our "personal gardener."
A person cannot live in a particular season forever and in a constant harvest time. Different seasons occur and it entails different works which include planting, nurturing, fertilizing, replanting until the plant blossom and bear fruit. Just after that, people can harvest the fruit.
Then she mentioned plants falling off their leaves and cutting back things. "Cultivation in the Christian life is about welcoming the tender hands of the gardener," she said. She cited John 15 regarding how the hands of God are at work cultivating His communities of disciples. "We are grafted from Jesus himself," she added.
She spoke about the "weather system" used by God such as storms and disruptions. According to her, it was written in the scripture that "Jesus doesn't prevent storms from coming" but rather "He cultivated His people to overcome it." "Cultivation is recognizing the time that we're in and understanding the impact of the weather system on our community," she explained.
According to her, from the 20th century onwards, people got to mass-produce. "Machine-like agriculture has been the same thing in the Church," she claimed. She criticized the 'mechanized mass production' approach to religion. "The Church fights the seasons so that we can just mass-produce so that we can consume, consume, consume, and within agriculture that's destroyed soil, it's yielded fruit that isn't so tasty," she said.
Mass production made people "exhausted" and "empty with tasteless food". "If you are exhausted, if you feel jaded by the systems and processes, metrics and mechanics, and all the promises of mass production religion, God is saying, He wants to tend to you," she said. The Lord planned to "cultivate rich and new fruitfulness in you," she added.
"Resist the impetus to insist on a perpetual summer or constant harvest if we're going to agree that God is good," she encouraged. "Let the gardener do His will," she added. She believed that people must loosen up and let the Holy Spirit do His work. She then cited the bible on John 3:5-8 saying "Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God..."
She added, "We're in a moment in the UK when we need the Lord to come in power by His Spirit, on His Church. These are perfect conditions for Him to move in power." She lastly emphasized that this is the time to "be cultivated and be wild."
This year's EALC is composed of a mixture of interviews, prayers, and short talks. This year's speakers include Amy Orr-Erwing, Carl Trueman, Fred Drummond, Preethy Kurian, and Gavin Calver. Kate Forbes also joined the conference as an interviewer of public leaders.
"We heard from leaders sharing insight about the cultural shifts happening around us, as well as what they sense God is saying to the UK church at this moment," EALC said.