Friday, December 12, 2008

318. found another one


A few months ago, I created a new tag for my blog called Christians (see entry 303). The basic idea is this: I’m becoming more and more convinced that the work of Christianity has as much to do with redeeming the world - building the Kingdom of God here and now - than it does with getting people to pray a salvation prayer or understanding a set of spiritual laws. And so when I find a link that illustrates the kind of work that christians should be doing, I’m going to post it up and label it as “christian” whether the person featured is a christian or not.

[end preface]

It's been a while since I've put one of these up but I'm convinced I've found another "christian" - someone doing the kind of thinking and work that christians and the church should be doing. This time, it's a farmer who produces the best foie gras in the world. And I know there's a lot of controversy surrounding foie gras because of the way it's produced (geese or ducks are force fed far more grain or corn than they would eat otherwise which causes their livers to swell and get extra fatty and it's that abnormally large liver that becomes foie gras) but the way this guy does it, there's nothing forced about it.

Back in Genesis when God told Adam to subdue the earth, I don't think God meant the kind of unsustainable corporate farming practices we use today. I think God meant for us to do something like what this guy Eduardo is doing - working with nature to create something amazing. And for that, I'm slapping the "christian" label on him.

Check it out, it's a fascinating talk.


Like a Mustard Seed said...

So does "redeeming the world" then replace our own redemption? What about repentance? Is that just an overhyped idea, to be shed because it doesn't jive with the socially-tuned empathies of many Christians today? Anyways, kind of a ramble, but came across your blog and noticed you were a part of a house church at one time, and now go to Quest in Seattle... You have some very interesting thoughts on a variety of topics on your blog, wish I had time to peruse through them all. But, bottom-line, I'm curious how your current involvement with Quest compares with your previous experiences in a house-church, how they differ, and in what ways there are similarities, etc. Just exploring these things ourselves, and wanting to connect with others in the Seattle area who are asking the "tougher questions" when it comes to being the ekklesia...

Thanks, Daniel

The_LoneTomato said...

Hi Daniel,

I think salvation has both a personal component as well as a larger social component. They're both important and they're both a part of living out the teachings of Christ.

The reason I say that "the work of Christianity has more to do with redeeming the world. . . than it does with [evangelism]" is because I wonder if, as Shane Claiborne puts it, we were meant to fascinate people into becoming Christians. In other words, by living out the teachings of Christ in both personal and larger society-changing ways, we pique people's interest to the point that they're wanting to follow Christ rather than us trying to convince them to become Christians.

Easier said than done and I'm still trying to figure out how to truly live that out.

That said, I'm going to change "the work of Christianity has more to do with. . ." to "has as much do do with. . ."

Thanks for pointing that out.

As for moving from attending a house church to attending Quest, one of the reasons I helped start the house church I attended back in Hawaii was because my friends and I weren't able to find a church that was speaking to and leading us in the way that God was. We were tired of churches that were only about personal salvation and personal spiritual development. We wanted to find a church that was about that as well as about redeeming the world.

We got tired of complaining about it so we decided to start up a church of our own. I wrote up a bit about it in blog 175.

Anyway, once I moved to Seattle and found Quest, I found that it was just what I was trying to find back in Hawaii. And so while I do miss my friends in house church (and they're still meeting), I don't really miss the house church setting.

As for the differences, well, size of course is a huge difference. It was pretty easy to know everyone's story at the house church whereas at Quest, I only know a few stories.

Quest has small group Bible studies (what they call C-groups) and for me, that helps me feel the same sense of community and intimacy that house church provided.

Another thing that's better about being a part of a larger church like Quest is its ability to broaden the scope and reach of the Body of Christ. What I mean is, because we have a larger budget and a (much) larger congregation, we're able to help the community of Seattle (and areas around the world) in ways that the house church could never dream of.

I don't know if I've hit all your questions or answered any of them. Feel free to reply here or email me at tonelomato [at] gmail [dot] com.

Thanks for reading and hope you find what you're longing for.