families are complex. You love em. Well… a lot of us do. Some of us can’t. And others aren’t bothered. But you got to admit they have a lot to do with who we are. The inheritance of genes is something that is rather baffling. In a choice driven world we end up looking like our family. And a lot of scientists say that we behave like them as well. Is that genetic? well it seems that studies done among people who are adopted pointed towards the fact that there were stronger likeness of characteristics towards the biological parents than the adoptive ones.
Complete pointless digression.
Ok so families have a lot to do with us. so what happens if we tire of them? or we don’t get along? should we try to sort it? or is it just too much bother? what if we were adopted? how would we react then?
Let’s add some more complexity to this wierd scenario. we’re part of this massive joint family. so we don’t like our immediate family but don’t want to completely leave the old family name so what do we do? should we just hop from branch to branch of the family just to see what suits us? hmmmmmm.
That’s what the Bangalore Christian does. While their beer guzzling companions hop pubs in the precious little time before the cops arrive, equivalently the brethren hop churches savouring the best that churches have to offer.
‘oooh feel like a loud sermon today’…. ‘feel guilty today I could do with a good going to hell sermon’ ‘feel happy today need some rocked out music!!!’ ‘feel prophetic today I shall pronounce 7 people to be worship leaders today’….
Now I’ve got to be careful. People do move churches sometimes for good reason. There could be a God given sanction to move. There could be genuinely wrong things happening which prompt a move. But in my experience for someone to move church in Bangalore it is not such a big deal. We go where we feel like reveling in the beauty of choice.
Why DO we move around like stupid goldfish jumping from bowl to bowl?
1. ‘Good’ preaching. (Aargh!)(Where in the bible does it say that a sermon is a necessary part of Christian worship?)
2. cool crowd
3. great music
4. big crowd
5. even better music
6. Dramatic preacher
7. signs and wonders
9. good coffee (not that milky crap I got in the other place)
10. parking space
But I think there are even sadder reasons why we move. We don’t know what church is. When was the last time we heard a memorable sermon about the church? In Bangalore I don’t remember a single one. We have so many sermons a huge chunk of them useless and we still don’t know why we are sitting like schoolchildren in a building in front of somebody rabbitting on.
We don’t feel like a family because we have no teaching about it. We just sit there listening to all these self help mantras and tiring psychological endeavours. at the end if we’ve been emotionally titillated we give a tick mark to the service. ‘Good’.
I think for Jesus it’s like sitting with a gazillion bored teenagers. He’s adopted all of them and most of them just want to be entertained. We really need to be genetically modified so that we can be rid of horrors of the old genes and live with Christ’s genes. But guess what? we’re so happy to be adopted by the Big J that we think it’s all about access to him and sitting on his lap. Well, actually he’s done a rather wild thing as well. He’s grafted us into this family, a bunch of whining, complaining back stabbers some of whom who truly love you and really resemble him. And we’re family because he did that rather scary thing of going through the scariest darkness of alienation and death. So we’re family.
Personally it means I have to love one of the few persons in this world I’ve truly hated. I know it to be true. I have to. I will.
Stop the Hop.
We are family.
It’s not just Jesus and me.