Found on another Methoblog (Richard Hall) today, a quote from John Wesley on the cycles of temptation that christian systems must face.
“Does it not seem (and yet this cannot be) that Christianity, true scriptural Christianity, has a tendency, in process of time, to undermine and destroy itself? For wherever true Christianity spreads, it must cause diligence and frugality, which, in the natural course of things, must beget riches! and riches naturally beget pride, love of the world, and every temper that is destructive of Christianity. Now, if there be no way to prevent this, Christianity is inconsistent with itself, and, of consequence, cannot stand, cannot continue long among any people; since, wherever it generally prevails, it saps its own foundation.”Causes of the Inefficacy of Christianity, John Wesley, 1789
To me, this is justification for hacking Christianity. When Christianity becomes inconsistent, when the system is faulty, then it is up to the edge to call the center back to accountability to the God who calls us to right relationships. Be it prosperity-gospel suburban churches or poor urban churches, there’s always ways to be called back to Christ.
I’m not sure that I’m completely with Mr. Wesley…humans are faulty and this is not always preventable by any ordinary means. But, like Wesley, I believe in a God who forgives. Whenever Christianity loses its way and dilutes the Jesus story in the waters of capitalism, sexism, and violence, then we can ask forgiveness and find our way back to our foundations. If you can forgive your church and yourself, then you can hack Christianity too.
And along the way, we’ve got to remove the structures and the traditions which put us down that road in the first place. And that’s what we’re doing here at HX.net.
(edit…I accidentally published instead of scheduled this post. so it went out this evening instead of for Breakfast. But oh well, maybe you like pancakes at night like I do!)