Monday, April 30, 2007

Conspiracy Theory

In the movie, Conspiracy Theory, Mel Gibson played a whacked out cab driver who was obsessively on guard against the thousand and one conspiracies that big brother was involved in. Turns out, that he really had been the target of government brain washing and that his delusions were actually more real than anyone realized. His hilarious escape from the villain, Patrick Stewart, goes down as one of the great escape scenes of all time. Hey, it was just a movie, there really are no conspiracies that anyone has to worry about.

I remember friends of mine who got saved a few years ago struggling with what it meant to be Christians. They were told that they needed to go to a Sunday service in order to mature as Christians. The conflict for them was that Sunday morning had been a traditionally family oriented time that was a wonderful respite from a very chaotic week. They enjoyed sleeping in and then having a casual brunch with their children, followed up by a walk in the park or some other such inane pleasantry.

Becoming Christians ended up meaning giving up the family time that they had carved out of a busy week and rushing off to church so that they could learn to have a stronger family. When they voiced their concerns over this new set of priorities, long time Christians looked at them with a puzzled look, wondering why they didn’t understand the cost of being a disciple of Jesus. Getting them to change their misguided family value for true Christian values was of the utmost need in their lives. They wouldn’t survive as Christians, if they didn’t embrace this new subculture.

They felt like they were fighting some form of conspiracy against their family. If they protested or questioned at all, they were looked at as either na├»ve or rebellious youngsters, who didn’t fully comprehend the wonders of knowing Jesus.

In our mad dash to prop up our Christian subculture, is it possible that people outside of church circles are seeing the conspiracy to try to get them into a lifestyle that has no appeal to them whatsoever? Are they asking the question about the emperor’s new clothes and finding that Christianity, as it is projected, has very little substance associated with it. Have they heard the stories of lack of authentic friendships, authoritarian control and self serving spending?

Have they uncovered the conspiracy of their needing to change while the rituals of church should never change?

Is it possible the people are not rejecting Jesus as much as they are rejecting the inward, exclusive cultural dogma of church going Christians?

Is there a conspiracy to keep people out of the kingdom of God in order to prop up cultural church norms?

Likely not. It's just a theory.

1 comment:

Jamie A. Grant said...

Whoa.

When I question people about the importance that we place on Sunday services and church buildings, they respond just like that: It's a conspiracy theory. There's nothing wrong with the system. Look at all the good things that happen as a result. People just need to try a bit more, submit a bit more, grow a bit more.

My questions are dismissed as crazy talk.

And yet somehow, this same attitude becomes a well-meaning battering ram against families like the one you mentioned. People want to accept God but some of them do not want to accept what they see as superficial and arbitrary rules and traditions.

The emporor has no clothes. Some new Christians see this immediately. For others like us, it takes decades to even consider this.

In a conspiracy, there are often only a few people aware of it, right?