Church Culture Outsider?

First of all, let me say this: as flawed as the Church can be, I still believe in Her. And so does God.

But sometimes the people that go to Church do odd things. Some people see this and like to make themselves seem cool by making fun of these odd things.

Sometimes the people who make fun of the odd things the Church does are just as odd themselves… but they don’t seem to realize it. Maybe in the quest to be post-modern or hip they forget to research what they are saying before they say it.

For example, Tim Hawkins “Hedge of Protection” video. It’s hilarious – I love watching it. But then you find in Job that Satan says to God “have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has?” So whatever a hedge of protection is, I want it in my life. As silly and insane as that sounds to our modern/post-modern brains. And maybe Tim goes on to say that… but few include that in their clip when they use it for a sermon.

As someone who didn’t grow up in Church (and not even pretending to go to Church), I have noticed that there are two camps of Church people. There are those that create their own brand of quirkiness to make fun of all the quirks of the Church, and then there are those that actively fuel those quirks and think there is nothing wrong with any of it. Both sides love to laugh at the other, but rarely at themselves.

My goal with this blog is for all of us to learn to think about our quirks (we all have them) and maybe laugh at ourselves a bit while trying to move towards truth over tradition. Because no matter how hip, post-modern, emergent/ing/ly/etc, conservative, whatever you are… we all have our sacred cows that we don’t want to slaug… errr… examine.

Sacred cows make the best burgers. Ask any fan of In-And-Out.

Ecclesia Extraneus?

As far as the name, well… I would love to say an intense study of Latin helped me come up with it and there was some deep meaning behind it. Honestly, though, I just typed “church outsider” into Google translate and this was the Latin translation. When you don’t quite feel like you fit in with either side of most Church debates, you start feeling like an outsider to both. And that seems to be a growing thing in Churches today – those that don’t feel like they fit in with the extreme conservative or the extreme emerging sides.

Then I searched the web a bit to see what came up about this term. I found an interesting thought from this site:

The English word “strange” originated from the Latin word extraneus (from which the English word “extra” also originated) which meant on the outside i.e. “strangers” were “outsiders,” socially, religiously or politically, within one’s own nation – they could be one’s own countrymen just as easily as they could be “foreigners.”

That kind of describes how I have felt in Church ever since becoming involved. I feel like a countrymen, but since I don’t always understand the culture I also feel like a stranger. But I haven’t given up on being a part of a Church, so don’t think I am some bitter ex-Church attendee with an axe to grind.

Okay, maybe I have a few axes to grind… but at least these axes have weird, deep, or funny stories attached to them.

metamodern-faith-avatarBut whether it is traditional “old school” church culture or post-modern “hip cool” church culture, I really don’t fully get either one. So while I go to a Church, I often find myself as one that just doesn’t fit inside the Church culture box. So I don’t see myself as an outsider to the church as much as just one that brings a perspective from the outside of the “culture” to those on the inside.

More often than not, I will probably be making fun of myself and just acting like I am telling a story about someone else. You never know. But I encourage you to find yourself in these stories and learn to take a different perspective.

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