Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Cookie Cutter Cultic Christianity

A friend named Jean wrote: “Our children are so much more than just someone’s future wife, future mother, future patriarch. It seems like the uniqueness that our Creator delights in, is being erased very systematically. Our Lord did not use cookie cutters, and neither should we.”
This statement brings attention to “patriarchy’s” focus on roles when raising children rather than training them to be Christians hidden in with God in Christ. To quote again from Mark Noll’s “Scandal of the Evangelical Mind,” in the wake of the Second Great Awakening,wholesome living” was viewed as “the unmediated agency of God.” Placed in context of home and family virtues only, this is very much like Pope Leo XIII’s comment (1885) that “a life well spent is the only passport to heaven.”

I see that there is less and less focus placed upon on the person of Jesus Christ in favor of all of this talk and teaching about “gender” and “roles.” The Gospel is Christ centered and not patriocentric. The focus placed upon appropriate roles seems to eclipse the focus of the Gospel: for all to be conformed to the image of Christ and the resultant Great Commission flowing from Christ-like character into the world. In all these efforts to preserve proper conduct, men and women are alienated from one another in the larger group where we should all be united in purpose and essence as those who are all being transformed into CHRIST’s image. Instead, we’ve all been given a cookie cutter model that, from my vantage, eclipses the Person of Jesus.

Bureaucratic, collectivistic, hierarchical and the extreme end of fascist systems cannot accomodate individuality and the uniqueness that our Creator designed within each one of us. Thus, we are given cookie cutters instead of dangerous liberty from the patriarchal system that seeks to save us from ourselves. Such systems are not designed to accomodate the exceptions but to ensure commonality to perpetuate the system. The system loses sight of the fact that it was created for the edification of man, and man serves the system with idealistic zeal. We put ourselves at risk to forget that the sabbath was made for man and not man for the sabbath. It’s a very subtle shift with potentially devistating consequences.