Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Revolt Now

Okay, everyone who knows me knows I have resisted a blog for the longest time. So the question begging for an answer is 'why now?'

Too bad I don't really have a good answer. Maybe I just gave in to the fashion. Or maybe I realized how many people I might meet -- I like meeting people.

I do know why I should not have a blog. 'Cause I hate deadlines. I already have one. Some people call it a sermon, but from my point of view, its a deadline. There is no option but that I have something to say at 11:00 on Sunday mornings. The idea of having a blog means that you write something. And even if there is no set deadline, we've all read blogs that we STOPPED reading because the blogger didn't post often enough to make it worthwhile.

Which leads to the second reason why not; I have the basic insecurity that maybe I don't have enough to say to sustain this. As above, we've also dropped blogs that had little to say or kept repeating the same tired themes. I refuse to be one of those.

Finally, I see no reason to have a blog simply to point out stuff out there that other people have written, no matter how witty, intelligent, thoughtful, ironic, dry, or creative it might be. If I want you to see it, I'll email you. If I am going to blog, it will be mostly my own stuff, or, at the very least, my comments about someone else's works.

So who am I? Well. I am many things in this world:

- Owned by a Siberian Husky named Andy
- Home Brewer (recently reaching into wine too!)
- Former fat kid and successful dieter
- Home owner
- Episcopal Priest and Campus Minister
- Single Guy
- Person who has actually visited Kazachstan
- Surrogate Parent to Several high school and college students over the years
- Person who does not easily align with the right or the left
- General Convention Delegate (the Episcopalians out there understand what that means)
- American of African, Native, German, and Irish descent (and still looking)
- Person who is fed up with the way Christianity allows itself to be sold in the culture
- Watcher of Dr. Who from the beginning (currently on the second doctor) - Wow, what kind of a geek does that make me!?
- Survivor of an aortic aneurysm

And, I will certainly add to that list. But the title of this blog is not "Dr. Who Watcher", but "A Revolting Christian." Since no one has ever called me that to my face, you can assume that I mostly mean rebelling, rather than disgusting, though I suppose to some people that's the same thing.

What am I revolting against? How about these for starters?
- People who talk to the media as if their understanding of Christianity is the only one out there
- Media people who are too stupid to know the truth about that or fail to point it out
- Liturgical Nazis (Q: What's the difference between a terrorist and a liturgist? A: You can negotiate with a terrorist)
- Christians who threaten to leave (or actually do) when they don't get their way
- Christian litmus tests for politicians
- Biblical literalism (I've never met a literalist who was consistent about it)
- Hymns sung too slowly
- Sacristy rats (you know who you are! Only clergy with weak egos want you around.)
- Complaints about overhead projecting in church (It can be done well.)
- Middle aged women (and one guy) in black leotards prancing around the altar with streamers and calling it liturgical dance
- The use of the words 'just' and 'really' in prayers ("We just really want to thank you Jesus....")
- Interfaith services that reduce God to a warm fuzzy
- Any services that reduce God to a warm fuzzy
- Ordination processes that take five or more years
- People who retire from the military and get a call to be ordained after they begin receiving a full pension
- Complaints about acolytes in sneakers, female clergy in open toed shoes, and ushers not wearing ties
- The notion that I cannot bless two people's relationship, but I can bless your battle cruiser
- The belief that Jesus turned water into grape juice

Okay, this could go on for awhile, so I had best quit while I'm not too far behind. What I am seeking here is ways to strip the church of its silliness and to present ourselves to the world as a transformative presence like Jesus did. To do that, we need to toss a few things away and start adding a few new ones. Like not fighting all the time. Or really accepting people the way they come to us. Like doing justice, loving mercy, and walking humbly with our God.

In other words, this blog will not be aboutcreating a list of the things I dislike (see above), but about suggesting alternatives, reviewing new ideas that others are trying, and posing questions about things we might want to reconsider.

And maybe I'll talk about a few things that have little or nothing to do with the Church (remember that home brewing item?)

I bet you can add a few areas to reconsider to my list. Hopefully, I've ticked off one or two of you out there. Or maybe no one will ever read this. Does anyone ever read the first post of a new blog?


Zach said...

Admit it, you succumbed to mine and Tripp's peer pressure and wanted to be cool like us. ;-)

FYI - in the second sentence of your blogs tagline space, you have an "of" where you should have an "a"...I think.

We bloggers have to look out for one another. I look forward to adding you to my blogroll.

Cathryn said...

ahhhh ha! hey dude good to see ya on the blog-o-sphere............ yeah, i've been doing it awhile.. but mines a bit different... thoughts, daily things up and coming... ect......
bless ya dude. Miss ya! but i'm having fun in Austin... (somedays) it's been a hard transition... LOL (see my blog on the matter) but over all ... feel His hand in it and Jesus smiling.
xo cat

James said...

If I'm going to come up with an alternative to "sacristy rats" I must know what they are! No, really-

The Rev. Dr. Trawin Malone said...

Great column! We can be a different church and transform lives. Look forward to it.