Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Witness: Unconventional, Marginal, Mischievous, Radiant

All of us live in the Global Technological System (GTS). In this GTS, Olympianity is the most important religion. The GTS itself is the fullest embodiment yet of the will of the Olympian gods and of our devotion to them. Worse, the more powerful the GTS grows, the more inescapably Olympian it makes our societies, cultures, and Olympian personalities. Even as Christians and churches, we are increasingly expressing our devotion to these Olympian gods without even realizing it.

A witness is a person who tells other people about what they have heard and seen. Dominated though we are by the GTS, Jesus still invites each one of us, every day, to witness to what we hear him saying and see him doing. Sometimes we do.

At the same time, Jesus differs from our favorite six gods of Olympianity. We might call him the one odd god of truth, freedom, love, and vitality. When we witness to his words and actions, this makes us odd too. We can use different adjectives to qualify our witness to Jesus as the one odd god: unconventional, marginal, mischievous, and radiant.

Unconventional. The six gods of Olympianity are the conventional gods of our world. They are the gods whose existence we all take for granted. So witnessing to them makes us normal or conventional as well.

When we witness to Jesus, we become unconventional. We become different from others in unexpected ways. As we do, we disappoint the expectations which others, remaining normal, have for us.

Marginal. Remaining proud participants in Olympianity, and happily devoting ourselves to its gods, keeps us closer to the center of our society where we normally belong. If we witness with special devotion to the gods, they might even reward us with the most important jobs in our society. Then we might become central leaders or even rulers.

Witnessing to Jesus, our favorite odd god, will have the opposite effect. This is especially true if we witness to him with any consistency and clarity. Since he comes to us from way outside our world, we will end up turning our backs on the center, where the Olympian gods live, and moving toward the edge where he lives.

Mischievous. One thing about witnessing to Jesus is that it is very fun. Talking and walking with him almost always fills one with great joy.

Even so, our Olympian friends will see our joy as wrong. They will find both our witness and joy irritating. So sometimes our witness will be mischievous: both playful (for us) yet irritating (for others).

Radiant. Of course, during those odd moments when we do witness to the one odd god, our goal is not to irritate others. Our goal is to serve as radiant witnesses to Jesus: sharing with others the light of his truth, the warmth of his love, and the strength of his vitality. When we do that, God’s good creation is cared for, our fellow human beings are nurtured and protected, our churches are strengthened, and God is glorified. Let's do that!

Copyright © 2012 by Steven Farsaci. All rights reserved. Fair use encouraged.