Monday, July 30, 2007

The Crabbe and Goyle of Christianity

A lot of hoo-ha has been stirring over in the anti-emergent corner of the blogosphere. It concerns some posters a couple of folks made which poke fun at the views of some postmodern Christians.

As I looked at the blogs of the gentlemen who put together these posters, at first I was a little irritated, but then I was embarrassed. They reminded me of my own theological past. They took me back to a time when I used to beat up people with theology and scripture. I was a pretty good Bully for Christ.

The best measure I could use to describe myself at that time is Crabbe and Goyle. In the Harry Potter series, they are the two thugs who hang out with Malfoy and use their relationship with him to intimidate and harass people. Their relationship to Malfoy is sycophantic. I think many aspects of my relationship with Christ could have been fairly described in similar fashion.

Lewis says that evil cannot succeed in being evil the way good can being good. Evil is not original, it can only exist as a corruption of good. Evil needs good, but good does not need evil. Harry could go on fine in life without Crabbe and Goyle, but they could not go on without Harry (or someone like him). Their nature requires an enemy, someone to be against, or better yet - someone to beat down. Without someone to shove below them, Crabbe and Goyle would not know what to do with themselves.

I am not even sure how to talk about this type of Christian without getting into mudslinging. When I read the blogs of some of these anti-emergent folks, I just see a lot of anger and frustration wrapped in christianeez rhetoric. I also know that if someone had pointed out this behavior in my past, I would only have shouted louder and more obnoxiously.

I have been a Christian for 25 years. Only in the past few do I feel like I have started to be a follower of Christ. I grew up hearing that our faith was different because we had a "relationship" with God. I believed all those years I had a relationship with him and, I suppose, on some level I did. However, I feel like it is only now that I am beginning to discover what relationship means.

Speaking of posters, I thought these responses from Emerging Grace were wonderful.

1 comment:

jim said...

I believe that, on some level, I have had a relationship with God over the last 26 years, too. I've had a relationship with the God of traditional evangelicalism. But in to many ways I think I have misunderstood who God really is. So, in a way I've become "agnostic" about that God. I believe in God and want to have a relationship with him but question whether he is like the God of evangelicalism (complicated further by the sub-divisions within evangelicalism i.e. God of the charismatics, the baptists, etc.). I quess that makes me emergent.

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