Saturday, 11 June 2011
Instead of studying, I found myself looking through the photos of the "other" church's camp on facebook. To add to the irony, I am supposed to be at my church's bible camp right now, but a combination of factors prevented me from attending. The greatest of which was the $190 for an overnight camp, of which I don't believe to be good stewardship of my own money. Though there were people willing to pay for my ticket, but I don't deem it wise use of money for anyone to use their money in that manner.
Back to the "other" church, they seemed to have a good time. I know a lot of people that attended this camp, about the total mutual population of those that are Christian and study architecture are found tagged in these images. Mighty fun party I might add, dress-up party, field games and a mighty rave concert--not that these are wrong things, I very much would have enjoyed attending if I attended their church.
There is such joy in these photos, I can see it in their faces as they are genuinely joyful. What photos cannot tell is the stories I hear from people coming back from the camp. On fire for Christ, and totally filled with the Holy Spirit, I met up with a friend when he got back, his voice hoarse from yelling and singing praises. He’s a dear friend, I might add, one of the best Christians I know. We just hung out, and he told me everything that he had learnt from the camp--I cannot say for the life of me that I would agree with a lot of it. In that, I wouldn't be surprised if Tony Robbins was life coaching, not a pastor preaching. Then, the first thing he does upon reaching home is fail to pornography. He was ruing how every week he comes back from church--he can usually last a few days before he falls back onto the habits of old.
It also worries me that my brother told me today the Christian group at school opened the Bible for the first time this year today. For a group that has been together for 6 months, that is aimed towards evangelizing the unsaved. Towards these, I don't feel any anger at all, I am in despair.
There is such a disconnection between what we see on the computer screen and what we act like in real life. There is a wall between what we parade in front of other people and what we do with our own hands--just dig a little beneath the surface, and you will find the most perverted sins. What interaction we see on facebook, verily, it does hide a larger problem. There is an idol of social networking, that seeks to make us better than we are. Our image is not so much embodied in Christ, but on prettying up the human image to be more than sinful and depraved.
People say the most vicious things when they know that you are not reading or not aware that you have any knowledge. Life is sucked out of social networking so much that there is no more honesty, hiding everything that is important from the fore.
There is another King of the Hill episode, which I have not posted about that I am hoping to write about in the near future, but today I think that there is a very accurate dynamic that occurs between the church that Hank leaves and the church that Hank is drawn towards. The traditional church and the megachurch—there is a fundamental tug of war between the two as they yearn for the affection of Hank and his family. It moves beyond a battle for souls, but a battle for numbers and getting the most existential joy over a joy that emanates for an eternity.
One of the most striking scenes is where the new church pastor keeps on surveying how Hank feels, asking methodically on a scale of “Extremely Satisfied” to “Extremely Dissatisfied”. The reality is, a survey of human emotions reduces the experience of God into a merely two-dimensional experience that can be collated into graph and tables for a boardroom meeting of elders. The whole numbers game reduces the richness and mystery of the character of God into a distinct and compact entity. Perhaps it changes the invisibility of the spirit and challenges the silence of God in changing His very nature into something tangible.
Taking it back to my original intent, of which I feel that I have gone a little bit off on a tangent. I was talking about the disconnect between what we are and what we show. Why do we focus so much on the outward appearances when our hearts are so rotten? If we do so focus on the outward, then are we truly on the right track because we are living for more than an audience of One?