What Would Jesus Blog?

Tag: Tuesday Celebration

Yoga

by on Mar.20, 2009, under Uncategorized

So, there’s a large group here at Cliff for a Yoga retreat weekend, involving lots of contortion and non-Christian spiritual endeavour (plus the sale of Buddhist and Hindu CDs and bong-like contraptions….) and it’s caused some great debates over the dinner table!

One side feel that having groups coming to Cliff to engage in non-Christian spiritual activity is wrong – that Cliff is a holy place (holy = set aside for God), and that the only worship that occurs here should be Christian. We make regular exceptions for Jewish groups, we might do the same for Muslim groups as our religions are related, but Hinduism and Buddhist spirituality is a long way removed from that of the Abrahamic faiths. This side of the argument feel that Cliff should have turned the group away, politely explaining that what they would be doing here didn’t fit with our views on spirituality and that they should find another venue. They feel that the very holy and Christian spiritual space that is Cliff has been invaded – not that they can’t worship God anywhere or that God needs special places to work, but that there should be places that are set aside for God and worship of him in a Christian way.

It’s worth noting that this group take yoga seriously – it’s not just a form of exercise but it is a spiritual endeavour for them.

The other side of the debate take a variety of views – from knowing that Cliff needs the money and that a chance to take money from the hands of heretics and put it to God’s purposes is one that can’t be missed to arguing that Cliff should welcome everyone with open arms and show them Christian hospitality and the Christian lifestyle so that they can see the Gospel lived out properly.

Ultimately it’s a question of God’s mission – faced with a decision to make, how can Cliff best follow God’s purposes for this world? Jesus had no problem with kicking the dishonest money-lenders out of the temple because it’s God’s house but even at his last supper he dined with someone who he knew was going to betray him. As Christians we have a duty to protect the holy things from contamination but at the same time ask ourselves how we can tell people who aren’t Christians the good news of Christ.

So what do I think? Welcome them with open arms, let them use whatever they want to, pray for them, pray over the areas after they’ve left to get rid of any spiritual nasties but crucially talk to them and interact with them and show them God’s love. I’d rather we had a neutral space that we could just rent out without it necessarily being a spiritual issue – having them yoga where we worship brings it a bit to close for comfort….

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Tuesday Celebration

by on Feb.04, 2009, under Uncategorized

We’re messing around with new ways of doing Tuesday Celebration, now that we’ve moved it down to the Chatsworth room – it’s a fantastic space and means that we can really let loose (when we have the equipment :p). This evening’s offering was pretty funky – plenty of well-used media, coherent narrative that didn’t cause me to switch off, sound message, and only one or two technical glitches that we can learn from. I may even let my manuals take one meeting every two weeks for worship-related stuff as manual time, which I’m sure they’ll love.

One thing I really appreciated was that the worship wasn’t all luvvy-duvvy ‘Jesus is my boyfriend’ kinda stuff – that kinda thing really doesn’t represent how I feel about God! Michael Frost has an excellent chapter in his book Exiles about that – I highly recommend it. I was utterly despairing in the midst of such rubbish and then we sang a song that was all about how we all need God’s forgiveness, how God can forgive anyone who comes before him and asks for it, and how awesome it is that he offers it to us – and that right from day one we have to contend with one of the many paradoxes of Christianity – we don’t have to pay anything to receive God’s forgiveness but at the same time, it demands that we give over everything to God’s purpose.

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