Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Experiments in translation (2)!

Lately I've been thinking, praying, and talking a lot about the Church as an 'experiment in translation'. I'm really committed to the idea of ensuring that the community to which I've been called to serve will experience the love of God through The Well with as little 'religious' fanfare and undertone as possible. I'm expurgating all the 'sacred cows' from our 'doctrines' that get in the way of people seeing Jesus for whom He really is. There is no doubt in my mind that only a very few human beings would maintain a laissez-faire attitude in the face of pure, unbridled, and uncomplicated love.


To observe much of the conversation between the Church and the sorrounding culture, one is inclined to believe that rancor is the strongest sentiment that exists between us. This flies in the face of the essence of the Gospel message, which, essentially is the message of how much God loves His creation (note that I said His creation and not Christians). Many erstwhile Christian leaders have done everything they knew to do, to create a utopian society that was built on 'Christian principles,' with a view to modeling what society should really look like, however culture has always prevailed upon these noble but misguided intentions to "Christianize" society. May be instead of 'Christianizing' our society, the real goal should be that Christianity 'infiltrates' the culture in its purest form so that people become more human, and consequently more Christlike.

In our small corner of the world, we are trying to live out what we preach. One Saturday a month, the worship team from The Well has been invited to perform at the farmer's market in Lake Mary, FL. Now before you begin to cheer and clap and shout "Praise the Lord!" you should know that we play very little 'Christian' music. You see, our goal is not to have people falling on their knees in repentance as others carefully sidestep their prostrate bodies while attempting to find the next best deal at the market. Not at all! In fact, our goal is simply to start a conversation about the things that matter to them, and then explain to them that we just might be able to find the answers together as we embark on the adventure of experimenting in translation through The Well. Last month (at the farmer's market) a sixty-something-year-old man wept openly as he watched our skits and listened to the music, stating: "I've been in church all my life, and I've never felt as impacted by the message of love the way I have been today." What??? that happens when you play secular music and do a few drama skits? Well, come and find out for yourself. You're welcome to join us if you're in the neighborhood!

4 comments:

Ash said...

"...You see, our goal is not to have people falling on their knees in repentance as others carefully sidestep their prostrate bodies while attempting to find the next best deal at the market. Not at all! In fact, our goal is simply to start a conversation about the things that matter to them"

I LOVE this. I LOVE that you're doing this. I just want you to know that.

Joseph said...

Ash, you are a wonderful 'cheerleader'. I really appreciate your encouragement. :)

Joey said...

Ash, thank you too! I'm the guy in the picture on the far right playing bass with freezing hands!
;0)

Joseph said...

Joey, my hope and prayer for you is that this weekend won't be as cold. Having said that, losing a few fingers is a small price to pay for such a worthy cause, right?! :)