A little while ago I blogged about the lack of a Christian identity. I was thinking on how we can develop a Christian identity and wondering what this may look like.
As I was driving back from chatting with Paul from Wycombe YFC Bjork’s voice whispered out of my ipod as she sang Declare Independence. A particular few lines made me think:
Ignore their patronizing
Tear off their blindfolds
Open their eyes
Is our lack of identity a symptom of a type of reverse colonisation? By that I mean, have we colonised ourselves in that we have followed so much a missional line of thought that goes something like ‘we want people to see that, as Christians, we are pretty normal and enjoy normal stuff like everyone else‘. I question whether this desire to be seen as normal has resulted in allowing ourselves to be colonised by ourselves, to be like everyone else, which has resulted in a lack of an authentic Christian identity?
If this is so, what can we do?
As I listened to the track again as I sped down to the M40 towards the slow meandering M25, I wondered if God was saying ‘stop fighting and open their eyes, remove the blindfolds.’
Some Christians, in my view, have taken the ‘campaign for our rights route quite forcefully’. I have no problem with that, and I feel there is a place for it, but I do have a confusion in trying to understand that way of working, especially when we look to the Bible, or to the person of Jesus.
Jesus never seemed to stand up for God, or for himself. When criticised he took it and got on with what he felt was important (talking about God, feeding the hungry, healing the sick ….) Jesus did speak out, but instead of speaking for self protection, he spoke out for the poor, the oppressed and the marginalised. He never seemed to try and protect his position.
Jesus sought to remove the blindfolds, to open the eyes of those around to God’s liberating truth – the truth that God loves everyone and everything that he created. It’s the work that he continues in the communities over the world today.
I wonder if we reclaim our identity as we join with God in this ongoing work? Missio Dei colliding with imageo Dei fusing to create a Christian identity that inspires us. An identity which sees Christianity transforming society through actions of love, involvement, compassion and justice for others rather than voice seeking justice for ourselves.
What could this look like ?….. I’m not sure, I need to dream some more!