Thursday, December 11, 2008

i hate

I think it's good to be passionate and hate dumb stuff. Never people, of course, but wanting to hate what God hates. So, here are a couple of specific words/ideas that I'm not crazy about. Keep in mind: the most spiritual people around town, the most religious folk you could find - Jesus hated their actions [Matthew 23, John 2].

First off, I hate the word PROTESTANT. If people actually read my blog, I'm sure I'd get some flack for this. But think about it. It is absurd, minimalistic, and ridiculous to define yourself by what you're against. That is the plain idea behind the word PROTESTANT. It is precisely the same as being resolved to vote for one candidate because you think the other one is wrong. Wanting to be known for that which you oppose says nothing directly about what you actually do stand for. If one's religiosity is merely a listing of things they do not participate in [drinking, smoking, cussing, movies, sexual promiscuity, etc, etc], these things say nothing about treasuring our Lord, being obedient to the Spirit, and/or wanting the gospel of grace to go forward. The term "Reformed" carries close to the same historical significance. If I'm forced, I prefer it instead. But PROTESTANT seems to me to be immature and fruitless.

For those who are still with me and think, "Wow. Thompson is really wrangling over words." Well, you're dang straight. Language is one of our primary vehicles for gospel, truth, relationship, and hope. When we aren't precise and intentional in our employment of it, we fail. Alright then. Moving right along.

On most occasions I want to say that I detest or abhor this word. But for the sake of clarity and precision I will say that it often leaves a bad taste in my mouth - CHRISTIAN. What a stupid adjective: Christian music, Christian art, Christian t-shirts, Christian radio, etc. It works far better as a reality than an adjective. I understand that this word has to be used in this way sometimes for delineation, but why do the things described as such always feel so lame to me? I know this is an over-generalization. The term is only used three times in the Bible [Ac 11.26, Ac 26.28, 1 Pe 4.16] and was originally not too positive of a title. Why can't "Christian music" just be music by guys who are believers? I don't get it.

Further, CHRISTIAN as an adjective detracts from Christ the person. It does this in a couple ways. First, the focus slides from Him to His followers and we're sure to blow it real fast. Second, an adjective is an a-relational part of speech. However, the proper noun, Christ, points toward His personhood and calls out for relationship!

I could go on. I just long for the church to be the church. I hate seeing myself and other believers diluted by the sway of cultural cuteness. I want my inaugurated eschatology to be a fully realized eschatology. I'm ready to be with Him, like Him, and for Him world without end.



Susan Sene said...

I completely agree with you - on both words...especially Christian. Even now, especially b/c we live in the Bible-diluted Bible-belt, Christian is overused and misused. No wonder unbelievers get confused.

Beka Dean said...

you know what i hate?......

lilywood said...

Yeah, you really need to read The Shack. At some point near the end, Jesus comments to Mack that He's not a "Christian."

I find this one of the most difficult truths to impress on students (and to keep forefront in my mind)--that there is no difference between the sacred and the secular.

And I have several more comments, but I don't want this to run on forever :) I'll catch you later.

Anonymous said...

a double amen to all of the above. I always forget about blogs, and then when I remember I have to go back a read everything and get caught today is blog. Thank you for consistently writing, and even though you might not think I consistently read, I do...i just have some funny ways.

wow that was a lot of info...sorry