Enslaved and Liberated… Christianity: an Oxymoron.
I’m currently listening to my dad’s sermon from last Sunday (11th) and writing this, which is a procrastinative response to going through the readings set for this week. Media theory, grossness. ‘Culture Industry’, bla bla bla. Still, I suppose it would be interesting if I understood a sentence of it. I don’t think I’m feeling very loving towards Theodor W. Adorno.
So we went to Wales last weekend (10th – 11th) and yeah, it was good in terms of socialising and ‘fellowship’ – which, in my view, is ‘Christian socialising’ but where God is also involved as a friend. I didn’t really mention anything about the teaching, but last Thursday in SAFE our group went through the handbook and looked at all the discussive/responsive questions posed for each talk (nice idea, by the way) and that resulted in some amazing conversations and concepts.
One thing, that I mentioned in church today as well, was the concept of being ‘slaves to righteousness’. When we were talking about this, we looked at how slaves had no rights. And then asked ourselves what rights we ourselves had.
I was thinking about this, what rights I had, and I seriously struggled. I mean, I knew that being a slave meant we had no rights and were owned by Christs, yet what society is continuously reminding us of is that we HAVE rights. You see the posters on the bus for tenants with rotting houses and bad landlords, ‘You have rights!’ and people lobbying the courts with their rights to whatever.
A right to a home. A right to a job/income. A right to marry, have a family. A right to education. A right to comfort and happiness. A right to live long, die old.
From what I’ve read of the Bible, and from what I know of radical Christian martyrs: rights are a worldly concept.
“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”
However, the Christian idea of slavery is not one of chains, but one of freedom. When we come to accept that we have no rights, we are able to be liberated from expectations and disappointment, fears of embarrassment or persecution when living out a Christian life, and become free to live lives that are completely radical, without worry about the future but only by how much God is gloried by our actions.
What could be more amazing than that? So, I heard this repeated again in the sermon today, and as I said before, I’m thinking maybe God has something to say to me. And I’m listening.