Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Christianity On The Edge

John and I went to a Spurs game the other night. The Spurs eked out a win over the Sacremento Kings. It was a good time...although the game was closer than the Spurs should have allowed. While there I noticed the tattoo on the arm of Kings point guard Mike Bibby.

While doing a little research I found a quote from Bibby explaining the tattoo, "I'm a religious person and I wanted a cross". That seems straightforward enough.

My nephew Matt has a tattoo of a cross too.

When I was growing up, people with tattoos were usually people with regrets...and/or prison records. It's changed now...I have dear friends with tattoos...Amy occasionally threatens to get one. So far I've been able to talk/threaten her off the edge of that decision.

Anyway...I was thinking about how Christianity has changed. How folks with tattoos aren't drunken sailors, some times they can be good Christians and even use their tattoos to declare their faith. Christianity has an "edge" to it these days.

I read an article about that exact thing. Christian "heavy metal" concerts...churches organizing "cool" youth events...etc. I don't really have a problem with that either. Christ uses lots of tools to get our attention...it's what we do with it once He has us that is of larger concern.

Being a "cool" Christian...proclaiming our faith with tattoos or soapbox sermons...that is not for me to judge. I too came to Christ through the less than conventional route, although I avoided the tattoo parlor along the way.

Maybe churches do need to "be cool." Maybe we need tattoo artists, Woodstock-like concerts, and maybe we all need to lighten up about this "God thing" so people won't be driven away.


But some day the heavy metal and all the noise has to stop. The crowds have to disappear.

I believe that as we travel along an honest journey of faith eventually a heavy silence has to set in and then it's only you and God.

We can spend our time focusing on the "emerging church" and debating whether "organized religion" - which seems like a misnomer to me - is "doing it right." Those debates are fine I suppose...but in all honesty, the true "edgy" Christians I know don't worry about those things at all.

They're not flashy. They're not loud. They often don't stand out in the crowd, in fact most of the time they're exactly the opposite.

They're quiet...they're listening...sometimes they're on their knees.

Those folks are the people whom I pray to be more like every day. They're more concerned with having a relationship with God...with worshipping Him than with anything else.

We might not see them as easily, but they see Christ.

There's nothing blocking your view...when you're really on the edge.