Okay, so here’s this serious entry that I’ve been so excited to write about for a while.
For Christmas, the youth director at FBC Bryan gave all the youth workers a book called the Barbarian Way. Now, I’d kind of gotten off the Christian book train along time ago because people read them like the Bible but Rebekah had mentioned this one before and it looked pretty good. Pretty good? How about amazing?
I have to do this in parts because there are so many things that I want to say about it:
1) He talks about how Christians become civilized. He points to John the Baptist who was a complete weirdo and didn’t do the whole organized religion thing and didn’t wear the right clothes or eat the right things or live in the right place. But he was on fire for the Lord. McManus describes the process of our faith transforming from barbaric to civilized. An example? Try to remember when you first became a follower of Jesus. Think about the passion and the extreme faith associated with that. Then think about the long process to become a church member. You get doctrinized, told to be quiet in church (no clapping), told to sit down (no dancing), told to not make people mad (just let the sin slide). All of sudden, the passion and fire that you had is gone because people are trying to fit you in the church box. Church is not a bad thing, by the way, but I would say that it needs some reform. I’m still sticking to my guns that fellowship is nearly required. One thing the author says is that civilized people stand in lines and all look the same. Barbarians still travel together but they are not in line. They all have their differences and their own strengths but it’s still a powerful group.
2) McManus also talks about how we do things (or don’t do) things because it’s morally required of us. For instance, we don’t murder because God tells us not to. While that is true, it doesn’t smell of freedom, does it? McManus points to parts of the Bible that encourage us to “Love good and hate evil”. How simple that is! I’ve been meditating on that for days and it is decievingly simple, but it’ s also very complex. For example, I think that in most cases, rebuking out of love is a very good thing but society would say that it has the potential to make people mad thus it’s bad and therefore, you’re morally obligated to not do it. Love good and hate evil.
I have to finish the book, but I would suggest you read it. If you’ve never felt like church was the place for you, if you feel like your church self isn’t real, read this.
BE A BARBARIAN.
LOVE GOD WITH AN UNDYING PASSION.
LOVE GOOD; HATE EVIL.
STOP CONFORMING; BE WHO YOU WERE CREATED TO BE.