Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Hip hop History of the church 101. Plus Jesus on the water revisited

At church on Sunday, we watched a hip hop\rap history of the church. Yes, that’s right, a hip hop\rap version of the history of the church. And yes, it did make me cringe. Now, the idea is not totally a bad one: it introduces church history to Christians who may never otherwise know anything about the churches heritage. I think it is important that Christians today understand the story of the church to see where God had been at work and what mistakes we have made. But apart from being cheesy, at lot of this history was not much more than a bunch of slogans which summed up large and complex parts of church history. True, summing up 2000 years in 10 munities a big ask, and it can be nothing more than a brief summary. But trying to sloganise history is bad history. Furthermore, there was not really any encouragement from what I can remember to dig deeper into the history of the church. Rather the focus was on what role we as the next generation of new Christians will do next. Again, not a bad thing in itself and it presented some good challenges for Christian viewers. But I hope the church will be more serious about understanding where we have came in the last 2000 years than to stop at a bunch of rap slogans. We need to understand both what God has done thought the church and what mistakes we have, so that we can move forward with where God wants us to go and to not make the same mistakes again.

The other thing which I have been thinking about recently is about Jesus walking on the water, and how we interpret it. It seems that we often use it in a metaphorical way for having a lot of faith and it often said in songs that ‘if I keep my eyes on Jesus\ have enough faith I can walk on water.” However, I’m not share that this is the point of the passages. Jesus did not give a universal promise to all his followers that if they have enough faith they too will literally be able to walk on water, Jesus only ever commanded Peter, on this one occasion to do so. Now, this does not mean that we shouldn’t have faith in Jesus to do miraculous things thought us. He does promise us this in a number of separate occasions in the bible. However, at this particular scripture, I think that focus should not be on us and our faith, or even Peter’s faith (or lack of it), but on Jesus, and what this tells us about who he was. The point is this passage tells us that Jesus was not an ordinary person. He was doing something extra ordinary. This passage is to help point us to who Jesus really was: the son of God. I think we need to think more about how we uses scripture and whether or not the way we understand it is the way it was written to be understand: every if the point we are making for it is generally right. We need to be more careful with scripture in this regards.

Just some thoughts.

1 comment:

Scott said...

Yay yay yay - yes, the Gospel accounts are about Jesus!!! You have totally hit the nail on the head Nathan.