16 June 2006

Redemption

One of the best parts of my new job is the time I have to think. Some of the work requires thinking... measure, double check, cut, measure, make sure you didn't just waste a piece of material... and some of the work requires no thought what so ever. Like sanding. That's the part, which may seem tedious, but if you do it right, it is key to make whatever you're making look great. So it pays to take the time needed and do the job right. Actually, I'm getting paid specifically to do the job right, so I have to take the time and do it right. So that leaves me with time to think.

What to think about?

Well, for one: how can the Canadian postal system be so incredibly inefficient. Better not spend too much time on that one, it's never ending and you'll never resolve the issue.

Lets move onto something we can resolve. Church. Nope, non resolvable again... or is it? There has been a lot of discussion lately in a lot of places by people that are in varying degrees discontent with the state of the Christian Church today. Suffice it to say, I agree. There is a lot to criticize about the Church. Without going into too much detail regarding the different reactions to the church, I would like to present my position.

Redemption.

Take something, usually acquired with some cost, and make it your own. For example, that which God did with us. He acquired us, at the cost of his Son, to make us his own. Within the past 50 years, there have been many more Christians exercising this as well. For example we have such a thing as Christian Rock. We take rock music, many have paid the price of ostercization from mainstream churches (in the past, not so much anymore), and have made it their own. Rock music with a Christian message. Beyond that we have even taken this even further. We have Christian Reggae, Christian Punk, Christian Metal, Christian Country, Christian Bluegrass. Beyond this, we have other things that have been redeemed from the world for use within the church. Christian councelling, Christian exercise videos, Christian retirement homes, Christian autodealers. [I never said that this redemption thing was perfect, it can go too far the other way as well. Remember that grand old song by Steve Taylor, Guilty by Association?]

But the point is that we can redeem things from the world. Maybe it's time to redeem the church from where it has gone. Not from the world, but from the realms of "Christian Culture". The church has developed it's own culture, which can have benifits, but has many negatives. Especially when people take what is culture for what is gospel (a big egg to try to crack open, and one I will leave to people with bigger hands).

But I do believe that it is possible to redeem the church and help make it what it needs to be. But in order to do that, we need to start cutting away the "culture" that we don't need and get back to the gospel. Unfortunately, I have lost my scalpel and don't want to hack away at the church, that will get far to painful, for everyone involved. But it is time to start removing what we don't need anymore.

Any ideas? What don't we need? What are the cultural bits we can do without?

[All the while, I've got Bob Marley's Redemption Song running through my head - "Won't you help to sing, these songs of freedom, 'cause all I've ever had, Redemption Songs..."]

4 comments:

David said...

I dunno, dude. I'm with you but I think perhaps we differ on this redemption thing. For one, I don't think it resolves as easily as we wish it did. Also, I think that redemtion carries with it the notion of being returned to it's original purpose, or brought from darkness to light - and I don't think that the notion of making rock music or punk or books or autodealers "Christian" is either helpful or redemptive. It makes them "Church-worthy" but I'm not sure it redeems them. I see where you're going with this - I think - but I'm not sure we're getting there the same way.

Might be worth talking about more - but man, I applaud you for not hacking at the church - I've done enough of that and Lord knows some hacking might itself be needed but I'm not sure it's redemptive.

Keep plowing, bro.

David
fearfullyhuman.com

Garth said...

Have you heard Joe Strummer's version of Redemption Day or Johnny Cash & Strummer's version - amazing! I'm glad things are going well with your new job - I'm not sure I'd have the patience for work like that but I admire people who can create beauty in wood!

Getting back to redemption - we lose sight of it as we fall into comfort. It only comes into focus in our struggles for some crazy reason.

Garth said...

Have you heard Joe Strummer's version of Redemption Day or Johnny Cash & Strummer's version - amazing! I'm glad things are going well with your new job - I'm not sure I'd have the patience for work like that but I admire people who can create beauty in wood!

Getting back to redemption - we lose sight of it as we fall into comfort. It only comes into focus in our struggles for some crazy reason.

Dave said...

Hey, sorry for not replying sooner, I've been in limbo for a bit, kinda self imposed. Anyhow, My intent was not to redeem things so that they are church worthy, but as you said, to bring them back to their origional purpose. God created everything, we messed it up, Christ has come to make things right, that is to return them to their original state of perfection (in that sin is not present). In my mind (a strange and far away place) it seems to be that redemtpion brings heaven to earth. It is possible to be living in on earth as if you were already in heaven. Not by ignoring the sin, or separating yourself from it to avoid being blemished by it, but by being a light in the darkness. I told you my mind was a strange place. Returning the church to what it was supposed to be is what I'm interested in. By revealing truth (both the good and the ugly) and keeping the good. This is only possible through redemption through Christ. Is this making sense?

Garth, I havn't heard that song yet, I'll look into it. And I agree with you about the struggles. It's amazing how fast we loose focus. Man I wish our spirit could have auto-focus like a camera. But I'm still stuck on manual...