Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Last Sunday evening, during the NCBC service, we were presented with a logo of an anchor captioned with “You are my anchor, my light and my salvation”. This brought back memories of a piece I wrote 1995 that reflected on the styles of past and present Christianity. Of the past I wrote:

In those days they knew Christianity was good for you because they knew it to be true, and a good Christian was like the pews; strong, silent, resilient, steadfast and anchored - steadfast and anchored? Where have I heard that before?

“Steadfast and anchored” was in fact the caption under the anchor logo of the outgoing boys brigade. I say ‘out going’ because the boys brigade was soon to be defunct and the youth worker of the day was concentrating his efforts on a young persons group he had set up called “Power pack”. The logo of this newer group was a battery being struck from above by a bolt of lightning. With this in mind, in the same article I wrote:

These are the days when they know that Christianity is true because it is good for you and a good Christian is rather noisy and a bit of a power pack - power pack? Where have I heard that before? .... the newer tradition (often associated with charismatic churches) has a tendency to stress a kind of "intravenous injection” of God's blessing in the form of feelings, sensings, touchings, movings, reveries, ecstasies, and occasional bolts out of the blue.

The demise of the well and truly anchored boys brigade in favor of a group called “power pack” was symbolic of the day. In 95, and the three decades proceeding it, God was about “moving on”, God was about doing a “new thing”, God was about being zapped with power from above, God was about experiencing “more God, more…”, God was about the moving goals posts of God’s latest intimate “touch”. All this somehow seemed to find consummation in the Toronto blessing of 94 and the failed “Diana prophecy” of 1997. Today, however, that’s all forgotten water under the bridge. So perhaps we are getting anchored again.

Sometimes Christains seem so unconscious of the meta-narrative.

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