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Subversion of the Day- Relational Fire

odd couple

Let’s just pretend there is not an eight month gap between this post and the last.

The subversion of the day relates to relationships and the darkness-defeating act of choosing to spend time with someone who may not be very much like you… or may even be a person you don’t like.  I feel like this deserves a name, maybe a working title.  Let’s call it… relational fire.  I don’t know how I feel about the term, but I will take suggestions.  The idea, ultimately, is that you intentionally build a close, personal, intimate relationship with a person who is on a completely different spectrum than you.  Why?  We’ll get to that.

The rumblings of this idea came from a sermon that I heard recently from a very eloquent, biblical pedagogue (my wife) on relationships between the young and the old in the community called the church.  She pointed out that we make distinctions too much, and gave one of the greatest examples of this- the holiday dinner table.  Adults have a place that is well prepared, nice, pleasant… while children are pushed to the basement onto toy furniture with haphazardly strewn plate ware.  Separated, and not equal.

I feel like the church, and America, has struggled with that issue somewhere else before.

At any rate, she closed her message with a call to action… in the form of little pieces of rope.  She challenged older people (and older in the faith) to seek out people they would commit to mentor, and she challenged younger people to seek out older people to mentor them.  I responded, as did others, and I felt a strong conviction to prioritize this.  Now, one person I sought out to mentor (which I haven’t done great at) and I are quite different- he is African American, raised in more of an inner-city area, without a father, and likes sports.  Just those things are miles away from me.  However, the more difficult, relational fire situation is with a person that I asked to mentor me.  We divide in some very drastic ways- I am a pacifist, he is a Vietnam veteran; I believe in operating sort of outside of government, he loves America; I like to listen to others and sometimes let others inform or change my opinions, he is committed to staying where he is; I have what some would describe (maybe) as liberal views and non-traditional theological views, he is a staunch conservative and orthodox Christian.

Anybody ever watched the Odd Couple?

There are issues that exist that we are tempted to (and might in the future) fight tooth and nail over.  However, I see him as a man who loves God and is committed to serving his community of faith, and I think there is a lot I can learn from him, and maybe he can learn a little from me (though he might not want to).  So why is this all subversive?  It is because our ‘natural’ inclination is to move away from the things that are different and difficult for us, and by natural I mean an effect of our living in a world infected by death.  We are afraid of death, and pain, so we run from anything that looks like it.  But Christ has called us to do something else to break the strongholds of this world- to walk head on into the relational fire, as a living sacrifice, and stay there with a deep trust that the consuming fire that is our God will not let us be consumed.  When we put ourselves on the line, we take a step to destroy the bonds of darkness around us, and invite light into our world.  Get close to someone very different from you, and subvert the powers today.

 

Iron sharpens iron,
and one man sharpens another.

Proverbs 27:17

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About everydaysubversive

I am a subversive. I want you to come with me. I want you to subvert the powers and principalities with me. This blog will be the incoherent ramblings of a border-line crazed militant, peppered with book reviews, songs, poems, stories, commentary, and the Word of God. And, which will be the reoccurring theme, regular suggestions on how to daily subvert the forces of darkness. This is going to get messy. You might bleed a little, and i might as well. At any rate, stay tuned, there should be a lot to talk about.

5 responses to “Subversion of the Day- Relational Fire

  1. Eugene A. Garrison ⋅

    I believe you operate more within the government frame work than maybe you realize. Most people who are of a libeal thought enjoy the way this government is thinking. How ever this way of thought is destroying what was created by our fore fathers. The sad part of it is that those people who have fallen into this line of thinking have accepted a lie, deception and an attempt to rewrite history for their own political point of view.
    The Bible is what I call a manual for living; it is no deviation from what it teaches; it is absolute. Our culture and poitical way of thinking may change but the Bible does not again it is absolute. True I am narrow minded when it comes to what the Scripture says. Scripture says to guard every thought of our mind and I truly try to do that and because of that I am narrow minded

    • Thanks for commenting Gene! In response, I would not call myself liberal, which is why i said I think that others would. I would call myself something else, but the word is a bit incendiary so i am careful how i say it. A easy way to explain would be i am not liberal, i am not conservative, i am not liberaterian, i am not radical, I am a citizen in the Kingdom of God, and that understanding is what dictates my motivation, whether that is political, socially, religiously, spiritually (those are different things), etc etc.

    • Also Gene, and we can go more indepth elsewhere with this, but I think there is a fine line of being narrow minded for the sake of staying true to absolute truth, and our narrow mindedness preventing us from understanding more about the absolute truth that is so absolute that we can’t absolutely understand it. That came across as linguistic gymnastics, but hopefully you got me, lol.

  2. Great points! However, when we build relationships with those who are different, we must be solid in what we believe, so that we don’t become subverted by the relationship and compromise our faith. Christ-followers are called to be the missionaries in their relationships and not the mission fields. We are not to be conformed to the world or to our companions. We are called to be transformed into the image of Christ and then to live that transforming power in relationship with others and thus leading them to their own transformation in Christ.
    We must realize that there is a danger. Contemporary society is very missional and is doing its best to convert us into its image. Relate to those who are different, but avoid their evil influence and always keep in mind that you are in the relationship to influence them to surrender to the living, resurrected Jesus Christ.

    • Great words Steve. It is important to remember that we as followers of Christ are called to be salt and light to a culture that has lost it’s taste and stumbles in darkness. It is important to know what things are on what side of in the world/ not of the world.

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