Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Alien nation church?

Why Alien Nation Church?

I was raised in church, practically birthed in a pew. church was always home for me. But the state of popular American Christianity left me feeling like an outsider. I was raised to beleive that the universe was created in six literal days, that drinking alcohol, listening to 'secular music' watching movies, playing cards and dancing were great sins. That anyone who wasn't 'born again' was destined for hell, and that other denominations of Christians (Catholic, Methodist, Episcopalian, etc, might be dancing close to the line of damnation too, because they were Baptist. In other words I was taught to take a stand for my faith, but the stands that were taken didn't make sense to me. So I felt like, still feel sometimes like an alien.

Read the gospel of John and the book of Revelation however and disciples of Christ are meant to be aliens. In John 1:10 the writer says, 'He (Jesus) was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him.' Jesus was alienated, born to a people alienated in their own land, by the Roman Empire. More properly the world was aliented from God. Later Jesus, before the crucifixion, will pray for the disciples (John 17:14) and say, ' the world has hated them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world.'

We are to be aliens of this world. Not judging aliens. I can't stand christians who run around complaining about everything and talking about how they can't wait to 'go to heaven.' We've been given this world and this life to enjoy and for a reason. To be resident aliens, to live God's way (what that is I'm still working out) not the 'world's way,' (that too, I am still working out).

So this little project is most likely a place for me to rant and rave and preach and vent, to myself. But hopefully it will also be a place for alien Christians to talk about what it really means to 'not belong to the world,' and to figure out what God expects of us while in this world.

My first suggestion, having just read of the SBC's latest 'stand' against alcohol, is that the American church often chooses foolish wind-mills to battle. Why take a stand against people who can reasonably and responsibly enjoy a good beer or scotch or bourbon? Take a stand to help recovering addicts? Absolutely! Take a stand for prohibition? Why? Take a stand for 10 commandment statues? Why? Take a stand for school prayer? Why? Gay marriage? Why? Let's be true aliens in this nation and take a stand against domestic abuse, the rising cost of housing (in Rhode Island), the war in Iraq, poverty... The list goes on.

What should Christians stand for... and against???

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