Sacred Spaces 455– I’m torn between…
3 March 2015
I’m torn between the industry of Christianity and the community of it.
We’re bombarded by westernized Christian ideas and marketing and commercialism.
I’m surrounded by massive “charismatic” churches (or whatever they’re called these days).
I’m even guilty of following these “industries” on Instagram.
I once followed Passion, and now I follow Mosaic.
I’m torn by the desire to be part of it. To be in the “business of Christianity”
Where we pump out the product of Jesus! Then perhaps “I’d feel part of something real and potent.”
Perhaps I’d be “cool” because I listen to Passion Podcasts or because I know the latest Worship Central album.
But with my very next breath and thought, I’m repulsed and angered by the industry of our faith!!!
We show our churches, our youth groups DVDs by Hillsong and Passion and Worship Central and Bethel. An apparent “trendy” faith and how things are supposed to be.
None, I said none of those people in those bands or churches are poor! Or are of an ordinary financial bracket. These high profile speakers are travelling the world.
“Speaking the gospel”.
But it looks very much like marketing, to me!
The more people we get in, the more revenue we will make, the bigger OUR church grows.
The more sound and lights we can get.
The more we can give to OUR own church, and our own pockets.
We can travel more under the umbrella of “spreading the gospel.”
Yes, one could throw the jealousy card at me. How, I would love to be part of that industry. But, my conviction would tell me, it’s not about Jesus anymore…
I want to see and hear about speakers who arrive in a normal Ford Figo, who wear just ordinary ‘Mr. Price’ jeans and a regular tee.
I want to see and hear a preacher, who doesn’t look like a hipster.
I want to know that when he/she is done with his teaching series (and lucky for him or her if they’re filmed) that that person goes home to an ordinary house in a non-fancy suburb. Like the South African towns of Port Shepstone or Krugersdorp. (No offence to people, who live in those towns.)
But do you see my point? Do you see the tension that is within me?
At best, I believe the church is doing well, when it has healthy community. Community that cares for one another and for those just outside their communities too.
As a South African, imagine, there was a regular man (or woman) so passionate about God, yet they lived in a shack in KwaMashu (a local poor community.)
A film crew, would set up in front of his humble home.
This person would teach truths about God.
No fancy background music, no fancy lights or band.
No fancy car or home.
Just a message.
Just the gospel (good news)
Not covered in glitter!
Put it on a DVD…question is; would it sell?
Or in my own local context (a traditional church); we’re so committed to people in our church doing the membership orientation course. And if they haven’t, we regard them as non-members. For real?
If a person, came for months on end, even a few weeks, can we not see them as members? Or are they supposed to know some sort of secret handshake? Or whatever? In scripture, we don’t see Jesus or the early church running membership courses…
Imagine, I was caught up, travelling and preaching for Jesus.
I think I can talk quite well. I think I could inspire others.
But still, I’m torn.
The industry and commercialism of Jesus, doesn’t sit well with me.
After I wrote this rant, our cell group watched the DVD by Donald Miller called Free Market Jesus. Ironically, it was purchased and is supporting Christian commercialism. However, his message was so inspiring and challenging. See a snippet here:
“Take back the city for yourself tonight! Whoa! Whoa! God knows you put your life into its hands” Snow Patrol