Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Church in the world or the world in the Church?

The church in the world or the world in the church-I wonder which way the leadership in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) want it to be? Recently I saw this blog posting, “Churches Could Take a Few Lessons From Gay Pride Festivals & Drum Circles!” I also saw this Advice and Guidance for a Photography Newbie? at Patheos under the Progressive Christian link. I was checking out why someone from that site was showing up on my feed- I never did find out, but I did find the pictures Bruce Reyes-Chow took at the San Francisco Pride Parade.

I remember as Director of Apologetics Resource Center taking our booth out to the Whole Earth Festival at the university in Davis. Yes, we did enjoy the arts and crafts booths, the falafels and even some of the dancing and entertainment as it was emceed by Wavy Gravy. But most of all, and the whole reason we showed up was to be able to talk to so many diverse people about Jesus Christ. I still remember one graduate student who was almost finished with his medical training but also had some other degrees in the humanities. He stood with us, both forcefully and graciously, presenting the gospel. Such fellowship at such times is one of the joys of knowing Jesus Christ.

One year across from our booth was the Hari Krishna booth with their large display of reincarnation. The display is larger than life figures of a man as he grows from childhood to old age, dies (with the skull to let us know) and then begins again to grow into a different life. It was something to shudder about, but also something to prod one on to witness to those who needed the eternal life that Jesus gives. Another memory is of the new age person who pleaded with us not to pray for him, “We would put a curse on him” he said. We prayed for him.

But I began this posting because I am concerned with the kind of friendship with the world that endorses the world and all of their sinful realities. The kind of friendship that says, “Yes, this is what we want.” But it isn’t and here is the reason why. And most have no idea, including Presbyterian leaders, about what I am writing about. The same people who attend the Pride Parade in S.F. also attend, each year another festival. It is an annual one. I did not know about it until I was reading the blogger photo journalist Zombie. She shoots her pictures in S.F. and Berkeley and sometimes writes other places.

I cannot link to this particular posting it might just as well be pornography. It is pornography. Zombie’s title, “Christians Mock Gays at Shocking Easter Service” is a satire and after explaining that and writing that Christians should be allowed to bash gays if the gay community can do this to Christians, she goes on to write that she is a non-believer and that she does not mind the festival just the bigotry toward Christians. Here is some of what she has written about the festival.
As you’ve undoubtedly noticed by now, everything in the report above is the exact opposite of true. Yes, there really was a huge public event in San Francisco on Easter Sunday involving Christians, gays, mockery and humiliation. But it was gays mocking Christians and it involved thousands of people laughing at the Christian “hero,” Jesus.

The event in question is known as the “Hunky Jesus” competition, a semi-serious annual male beauty contest seeking to crown the “hunkiest” — i.e. most sexually appealing — gay (preferably half-nude) Jesus lookalike in San Francisco. Actually, Hunky Jesus is only part of the story; it’s the culmination of a day-long Easter Sunday festival in the city’s Mission Dolores Park. The massive public party/picnic is the closest thing San Francisco has to a municipal Easter celebration, and features several events including an Easter egg hunt for kids, burlesque shows, a campy Easter bonnet contest, musical groups and so on, with Hunky Jesus as the headlining final performance.

As you will soon see in the report below, Hunky Jesus is intentionally as blasphemous as possible, an over-the-top religious-themed sexual beauty contest steeped in mockery of Christians and Christian beliefs. [and it is.]
So please, be careful about letting the world into the church! But please do be Christians in the world giving out the good news of Christ’s life giving death and resurrection.

My husband after reading this posting put up a hymn on facebook because of the feelings the links had provoked in him. The video is very beautiful, the words just right.


will spotts said...

Mission Dolores?

How aptly named.

Will Spotts,
North East, MD

Viola Larson said...

I confess I had to look that up. Yes, it is aptly named.

will spotts said...

I think I'm a little bit too much of a geek when it comes to that sort of thing.