Monday, September 20, 2004

So, I'm teaching Sunday school again and we are doing really hard-hitting stuff this time. I am teaching the older kids about the history of Israel and the origins of all of the battles surrounding it. It's really tough material but it seems to engage the kids. We have lots of good talks about possible solutions for this part of the world. One of my favorites:

A fourth-grade boy said, "Why don't we just sell it to Egypt? That way no one gets it."

Good point.

I have been reading a contemporary Christian book called YEARNING by Barnes and it has a lot of good stuff in it. Barnes talks a lot about the modern preoccupation with fulfillment. Especially in the guise of self-help and therapy. And he posits the question as to whether God means for us to be fulfilled. It's very interesting. One part in particular caught my attention. It has to do with what Barnes calls "the Christian Subculture."

Here is an excerpt:


"[Christians] pretend that by circling the wagons of the church they can hold off the harshness of the secular world around them. They have their own fellowship groups, jargon, hero figures, music (both sacred and rock) and even political lobbyists. It adds up to an isolated religious culture created to protect them, and their children, from the arrows of secular influence. The effect is to put the church in competition with the world rather than in loving mission to it."

I think this is a common problem with Christianity today. I especially see it with some of my family members. One of my pastors told us in bible study that he really doesn't like the whole LEFT BEHIND series phenomena. The problem with focusing on being taken out of the world and leaving people behind is that Christianity is supposed to be about our mission WITHIN the world. Sharing the good news with others. Not setting ourselves apart from everyone else. I know a lot of Christians take issue with how I live my life. But I think God put us all here for a reason. And while I am alive, I intend to live IN the world. Not isolate myself from it.

5 comments:

Ellen said...

Which is why I watch MTV.

Genevieve said...

What is the Left Behind series? I've heard the name before, but I don't know what it is.

Malady said...

The LEFT BEHIND series by Tim Lahaye is this hugely popular Christian book series about people living on earth after the Rapture. It's kind of an end of the world sort of thing that goes into fictional detail about Armageddon etc. There was even a movie based on the first book starring Kirk Cameron.

TGC said...

That was one of the more reasonable things I have every read from a modern Christian thinker. I am so impressed that I might have to join a church. Plus, I hear some of the Sunday school teachers are hot.

TGC said...

That was one of the more reasonable things I have every read from a modern Christian thinker. I am so impressed that I might have to join a church. Plus, I hear some of the Sunday school teachers are hot.