Monday, December 10, 2007

a peculiar people

I appreciate the NKJ translation sometimes to raise new thoughts about scripture that has grown stale in familiarity. One recent discovery in relation to Israel is that they are often called a "peculiar people." This typifies the Jewish existence: immersed within, yet completely different. They were peculiar to outsiders. I fear that our inwardly therapeutically driven faith bears little resemblance to early Christianity. Certainly cultures have changed, but we as Christians, for the most part, constitute a fairly unrecognizable lot in the world. We are called to be a "peculiar" people, and the deeper I realize this, the further I feel from most churches and certainly the politic of the world. Comparisons against family and friends are valuable insofar as they are committed to a radical discipleship which subverts the ways of the world for its own good. I've slowly been catching glimpses of what this means for me over the past year. I difficult and painful journey that make me question much of the contemporary Christian way. Unfortunately mainstream Christianity offers little in the way of true discipleship through its fads of books, video curriculum and reliance on Christian celebrities. My gut feeling is that we have compromised the true power of the Gospel. We have capitulated to culture. And we justify it by the "need" to meet peoples “needs.” Do we accommodate the Gospel to people or isn't it true that we are taken into the Gospel story, God's project and by doing so are re-formed towards our original purpose and intent. We have been called a peculiar people unto Godself. We have been created in an undividable being (mind, body, spirit). Though today we as the church, have forgotten this. Faith is relegated to an internal choice. Religion becomes the external and physical bodies choice to participate or to create itself as its own god. This is Gnosticism. If this had been intended, what purpose do our bodies serve. This earthly triad works in similarity to the Divine Trinity: together. Our faith certainly is spiritual, it is emotional, it is intellectual, but it is also bodily. We must recover this and the power of a physical witness in society. An altera civitas. That peculiarity of the Israelites was exemplified in their daily physical life through interactions with culture.