Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Sunday, June 17, 2007
There are, however, two effects I'd like to talk on and not merely one. One effect is the coming idiocy; the other is the coming boredom. Whereas the idiocy is from those outside the Church, the boredom is from those within it. Step into the secular world and look at and listen to the next generation, and you will see and hear the idiocy coming forth. Likewise, step into the modern church (of any denomination, tradition, or creed) and look at and listen to the next generation, and you will see and hear the boredom coming forth. Face it, folks: the next generation of Christians are just plain bored.
Where do you think relevancy movements came from? Christianity is boring. So what do we do? We jazz it up with things that aren't boring, like movies, or TV, or rock music, or jazz music, or any music (as long as it gets the crowd moving...for Jesus, of course); messages that are fun, funny, and up-to-date; pastors that call themselves "teachers" and teachers that call themselves "friends" or "helpers" so that there is no sense of authority to offend anyone; and all in all, an experience that placates itself to one's own personal preferences, so that all are comfortable, alert, and listening.
Of course, relevancy movements claim to be making Christianity relevant, when in reality they are merely adding relevancy to it. In the end, however, its foundation is Christianity, and Christianity is boring. We do not change something that is boring by merely adding to it. We simply distract from the boredom. All that the people will focus on is the glitz and glamor because it's where the excitement is.
Dorothy Sayers met the idiocy and boredom in "The Dogma is the Drama," where she tried in vain to convince some "young men" that all of the exciting elements that were in her play were not figments of her own imagination, but were actually doctrine of the church, i.e., that Christ was God, that the Trinity represents perfect communion, and how we are to be united in that perfect communion. Christianity is foolish (in a bad sense) to the heathen and boring to the faithful because we no longer believe that this belief was founded by a man who neither was explained away by his peers nor bored a single soul in the thirty-three years he passed through this world "like a flame" (as Ms. Sayers said). We must redeem the mystery and beauty and majesty of the Christian faith. People are looking for purpose and hope, and we are the children of Purpose and the siblings of Hope incarnate. I think it's about time we started acting like it.
Saturday, June 9, 2007
"Lake of frozen icy sheet
Lying dead souls underneath.
Falls from Heaven spike of death
Then comes hammer, huge and heft,
Strikes the spike, shattering sound
Ice sheet breaks all around.
Hitting, hitting, ice sheet breaks.
Living souls to heaven escape."
-Jon Vowell (c) 2007
Tuesday, June 5, 2007