Sunday, December 03, 2006

Parlez-vous Christianese?

This week we have done a ton of work. From School shows during the day where we are up at 4am to night shows where we don't come home until 11 or 12. It has been a great week though and Brussels is a beautiful city.

Being in a city where I can't speak easily with people is tough. Many understand and can speak a little english, however most are french and can't speak english well. So one day after I got stuck trying to ask the man if there was jelly inside the pasty or if it was cream (turns out there was nothing inside, just bread) I started thinking about the language we speak as christians. We have a whole vocabulary that many people wouldn't really understand. We throw around words like worship, praise, psalm, trinity, blessed, holy, scripture, propitiation etc... and there are many people who understand as well as I understand french or they may recognize words like I do with Dutch, but can't full grasp what is being said.

I finished my work week here in Brussels by helping lead worship at a small new church that meets in a bar/cafe. It was a little weird because there were about 15 people who knew that church was going on and about 12 people who were trying to enjoy a drink, but didn't know that they were at church. (It felt a lot like FUEL's Red White and Brew fiasco). While we where sitting there and the leader guy with a trucker/bike mustache was talking about Psalm something something and Worship being a spiritual connection with God and I was wondering that if any of the people were listening at the tables would they understand what was being said. So I tried an experiment. When Thapelo (a girl from C-Kruis) and I got up to sing I tried to treat it like a concert because some of the people that didn't know they were at church turned to watch the "act". So I was talking about art and music and how every person is made with different needs and abilities like need for love and the ability to create. It would have been easier to say that we are created in the image of God, but I was trying not use Christianese. I have to say it was difficult and I failed, I reverted to some church words because I have never really thought out some of the concepts outside of the church vocabulary.

The night ended well. Thaps and I left right after we finished singing and one of the men (that didn't know he was at church) came and spoke with me to see if we were doing any more "concerts" in Brussels. He said that he liked what we did and his friends would love to hear us play more. It made me sad because if we were staying a few more days he would have a party and have us come play, it would have been a great way to meet some new people and probably get some free food.

I believe in God and that Jesus was God in the flesh and that he died for our sins so that we can believe in him and have eternal life. I want everyone to go to heaven. I hope at the end of life we see that everyone gets to go to heaven or that any one that believes anything (Jesus, Buddha, Yoga, Easter Bunny, Veganism) goes to heaven, but I don't think that will be the case. It makes me sad. It also makes me sad that a lot of people might not go to heaven because they didn't understand me when I say "Jesus died so that we can be washed in the blood" or any other common Christianese phrase and write Jesus off before learning the jive.

I pray the church here (and everywhere else for that matter) can learn to love and use a language of love that all can understand. It would be cool if we all go to heaven. Cheers (that means good bye [and thank you in England]).


1 comment:

klm said...

Thanks for this post. We watched an interview with Bono and he said it well he loves Christ but doesn't necessarily like church or Christians. I have more thoughts on all of this and may send you an e-mail soon.
Praying for you - Kris