Sunday, August 4, 2013

Sick Burn Theology

Sick Burn Theology -- : a method, or expression, of putting down anyone who falls outside of your tribe. Usually within the realms of uninvolved social media.

Its something we're all guilty of, especially in the age of faceless opponents. Often, in my case, its very easy to dismiss and condescend to someone you don't know. Rendered in pixels and imager instant backhands, its become sort of a phenomenon. This isn't hindered by Twitter which reduces complexities to something the length of a single sentence.

This can include everyone from myself to you to Mark Driscoll to Brian McLaren. This generally isn't regulated to a single group or tribe. You can sense simmering piety in the words of emergent leaders who talk beyond the fundamentalists, and you would be hard pressed to find a fundamentalist who genuinely cares to listen.

Part of the issue could be accounted for in the millennial controversy (Rachel Held Evans for instance; see Greg Boyd for the general debate). For instance, one wonders if millennials are vindicated in leaving the church, especially when the church is only just beginning to emerge from a post-fundamentalist era. Do we change or die? Or do we just keep things static and horizontal? The answer is elusive and beyond the confines of my research so I will just leave this here to extrapolate later.

Millennials, in reduction, are a generation home-grown on social-interactive media, pixels and sarcasm. Its no secret that twitter is far more popular amongst us and we are singularly the one group that feels the most isolated. What does this have to do with theology, especially the kind I alluded to in the title?

Simply, I do worry that my generation is part of the problem. We've reduced interactions, in some significant part, to putting down the established church. For example, you find fundamentalist pastors who enjoy putting down opponents in their sermons while never actually engaging with their concerns. You also have a decentralized network of post-emergent leaders who thrive off the same sort of condescension, equating cultural shifts with theological necessity.

It is difficult to tell the church why you are leaving when you only have 140 characters. Many of us are at least two characters, maybe more.

So what do we do?

Its easy for those of us not in the neo-puritan movement to write blog posts about Mark Driscoll and John Piper, and it is just as easy for them to throw off some 'sick burns' from the pulpit at unnamed (but obvious) opponents.

So we need a Pope.

Not really.

But I do wonder if "sick burn theology" is simply a fad -- or worse -- a reduction of my generation. Since we tend to proclaim openness and inclusivism and dialogue as major tenants of our faith, why then are we so fractured? Its no secret that I tend to be theological conservative, but most of my conservative friends consider me liberal.

In a polarized culture torn between two extremes, I don't see millennials getting any better at bridging this gap simply because we have no sense of history. We could simply change and be perfect, but in some sense, we might like the conflict. In some ways, it may make us 'morally superior.' In other ways, it just makes us petty. Personally, I've been guilty of both so this is something more for us to reconsider.

Consider this a plea: continue to dialogue in humility with your brothers and sisters within the church. The church has gone from radical abolitionism to Jim Crow to wherever we are now. The church, she is flexible. Us, on the other hand, should drop the 'sick burn' mentality and practice some more yoga.

In short, stop. Just stop. Listen. Breathe. Take a chill pill. Step away from twitter, Facebook and instagram. Avoid reduction and embrace the complexities of life.

And we really need a Pope.

--Nick

8 comments:

  1. CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE MEN WHO CAUSED IT!

    Do men have the ability to effect climate change on the planet earth? Are heat waves, cooling temperatures, earth quakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, droughts, gale-force winds, and snow storms the result of man's mismanagement of the planet?

    Is it not naive and arrogant to assume that puny man can effect climate change? Man-made climate change is a grand hoax, at best.

    HAVE MEN BEEN RESPONSIBLE FOR CHANGES IN WEATHER PATTERNS? YES, HOWEVER, THEY HAVE HAD NO POWER TO EFFECT THE CHANGES THAT OCCURRED.

    Genesis 6:13 The God said to Noah, "The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth.


    Were men responsible for the change in the weather pattern? Yes. Did men effect the change of the weather? No, God caused it to rain for 40 days and 40 nights, not men.


    Genesis 18:20 And the Lord said, :The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is exceedingly grave.


    Genesis 19:24 Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven,


    Were men responsible for the weather change in Sodom and Gomorrah? Yes. Did men cause the weather to change? No, God effected the change in the climate.


    1 Kings 8:35 "When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain; because they have sinned against You....


    Men are sometimes responsible for droughts, however, God effects the weather changes.


    Matthew 27: 51,54 And behold , the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks were split. 54 Now the centurion, and those who were with him keeping guard over Jesus, when they saw the earthquake and the things that were happening, became very frightened and said, "Truly this was the Son of God!"


    Notice, the centurion did not attribute the earth quake to man-made climate change.


    2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.


    Men are responsible for the global warming that is coming.


    No amount of green initiatives will stop the final global warming. Puny men will have no effect on the final climate change.


    THE MAN-MADE CLIMATE CHANGE HOAX WAS INVENT BY 1.DISHONEST MEN 2.NAIVE MEN 3.ARROGANT MEN 4.OR ALL OF THE ABOVE.


    GOD IS IN CONTROL OF THE WEATHER.


    YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY CHRISTIAN BLOG. Google search>>>>steve finnell a christian view

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  2. As much as I resist being told to take a chill pill, you have a point.

    "In some sense, we might like the conflict. In some ways, it may make us 'morally superior.' In other ways, it just makes us petty" - this often describes me, even when I have good reasons for engaging in conflict.

    Humility and deeper historical perspective are awesome suggestions. I find, however, that truly caring for my enemies, even my theological ones, is the quickest way to cut through my own pile of BS. Mark Driscoll might be wrong, what he says might hurt God's people, but I find that choosing points of conflict works best when my love for him (and everyone else) is at the forefront of my brain.


    We need more conversations like this.

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  3. I really enjoyed this post, as someone that is conservative in my views. Its funny because as soon as you say that people think your putting up a wall and assume your judging and feel certain ways, and thats on both sides. I cant tell you how many times I have had people in my church that are conservative tell me I am liberal, and then people that I am trying to love and listen to shut down when I say I tend to have more conservative views.... I think I will begin saying that I support a chill pill view. One of Love where we listen to are fellow brothers and sisters and pray and love them instead of arguing them into the ground.

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    1. Thank you for your comment. :)

      I could use several chill pills myself.

      --Nick

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  5. CHRIST ALONE

    Jesus Christ is the only way to gain salvation, the only way to heaven, the only way to the Father. Do all Christians believe that? All who claim to be Christians do not believe that.

    A 2007 Pew research forum on Religion found that 57% of the evangelical Christians, who were polled, believed that many religions can lead to eternal life.

    Those who claim the Bible as God's word do not always use it as their guide for what they believe.

    CHRIST ALONE ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE

    Acts 4:10-12 let it be know to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead--by this name this man stands here before you in good health. 11 He is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the chief corner stone. 12 And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved."

    If 57% of all so-called evangelical Christians believe that there are many ways to heaven, it is not difficult to understand why so many of them reject the words of Jesus when He said "He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved..(Mark 16:16). If you do not believe Jesus is the only way to heaven, then, it makes it very easy to deny that water baptism is essential for salvation.

    Did you ever notice how, well know, so-called Christian preachers will not say that Jesus is the only way to heaven? Billy Graham and Joel Osteen come to mind. They also claim water baptism is not essential for salvation. Is there a connection?

    YOU EITHER BELIEVE AND PREACH THE TRUTH OR YOU DO NOT. A PARTIAL GOSPEL CANNOT SAVE ANYONE.

    YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY CHRISTIAN BLOG. Google search>>> steve finnell a christian view

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