By now, you've probably seen Jefferson Bethke's Youtube video. If not you can watch it above - or, because I don't actually know anything about technology - you can go right to Youtube and watch it. (Yeah, HTML!)
I don't usually weigh in on memes - because normally by the time I notice something, it's already passé. For example I just learned what "Friday" was last week.
But I think theres something pretty theological going on here. I don't mean the video itself, but the surprising amount of reactions that it's brought out.
From my seat, I thought we had pretty much settled this discussion. Religion=Bad. Let's get on to bigger and better things. I get it. It's hip to be anti religion. Christianity's not a religion, it's a relationship - etcetera ... The thing is Christianity's never been great at being hip. We create counter-culture and then hide in it; we put light shows in church but the basic formula stays the same.
So I get why this video and this one were made. Mission - and being missional - is a huge part of a lot of Christian's experience of faith, and that looks weird and foreign to some people. I get that. I don't agree with it, but I get it.
What I don't get is this: "Why I Love (True) Religion Because I Love Jesus" by Roads From Emmaus. I get that they're coming at this from an Orthodox perspective and examining the video in light of that theology. (And I get that I'm doing the same thing to their post from my own perspective. And yes, that probably makes me a hypocrite.) But really? Is that a helpful contribution?
Essentially, what the critiques of the video amount to are "you're not really Orthodox. We do religion right." But the thing is, Jefferson's probably not trying to be Orthodox. He may not even know what that means. Of course he's not Orthodox and he doesn't pretend to be. He's just trying to be the best Christian he can be.
Let's give them the benefit of the doubt. The guys at Emmaus probably saw someone like this post of Facebook (like the rest of us) and realized that an Orthodox believer shouldn't 'like' this - and here's all the reasons why. Awesome. Great. And I get that the blog is intended for other Orthodox enthusiasts.
My question is this - and I'd really like an answer: when did it become more important to be right than to be Christ? Maybe I'm putting this on them. Maybe Orthodox believers don't put the same emphasis on Christlikeness that we Reformed types do (though I doubt it). I'd probably accuse myself of being pejorative there - but part of me wonders if this isn't a sign that the culture we live in is still broken? That the church still needs to be engaged in becoming more like the body it is supposed to be. We live in a culture where we're told that competition is good - that the market for whatever you're into is best served by diversity and self-interest. But the Gospel isn't served better by having a superior brand - or better marketing, or more market share. So why would we think any other laws of economics would apply? Why do we assume that competition is good?
Why do we want to be right?