Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Make the choice

The burning of magical books and the uproar caused by Demetrius and the craftsmen are not two unconnected or random events but rather two different responses to the life of transformation proclaimed by Paul and the early Christians. Acts 19:18-20 and 19:23-40, that is, narrate two sides of the same, stark either/or reality. The practice of magic is incompatible with Christian life, as is the worship of Artemis and veneration of her images/shrines. In Acts, it is either magic or Christianity, either Artemis or Christ.—World Upside Down, page 49

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It still is. We just aren't a quick to realize it because the names have changed. Check out this blog post from the other day:

Superstitious reverence for all things military constantly verges on the idolatrous and prevents the church from being a prophetic people. Memorial Day is not on the church calendar and military color guards marching down church aisles with rifles on their shoulders should not be part of our liturgy.

Consumerism, as much as anything, has come to define much of America’s most visible expressions of Christianity. Take a quick stroll though “Christian TV Land” and you’ll see what I mean. This is what Janis Joplin mocked when she sang, “Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz.” The cross heaps shame on all of this.

The American prescription for happiness is the script we’ve been handed. But it’s a lie. It’s a false gospel, yet enormously popular. The only possible way to resist that dominant script is through the adoption of what Walter Brueggemann calls a counter-script. For the Christian that counter-script is the gospel of Jesus Christ — at the center of which stands a cross!

Amen and amen! May we see through the facade...
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