How do we free the source from these barriers?
By combining the tenets of hacking with a robust examination of the Christian faith, this blog seeks to hack Christianity.
Christianity is a system of symbols, doctrines, and experiences that interrelate to make real the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. Sometimes humans put unnecessary obstacles in the way, seeking to control or even exploit God’s grace for themselves. To break through the artificial boundaries that Christians place in front of God’s grace, we need to make some new channels around or through those barriers.
This blogger has dedicated his own life to this system because he believes the story of Christ speaks most clearly to him. However, not everyone can claim the Christian story as easily. Roadblocks and preconceived notions keep them from integrating themselves into the Christian story.
Thus, we “hack” the system of symbols and make it more accessible and relevant to the digital age. By that we don’t mean a system of salvation (that’s God’s business), but the way our ideas, doctrines, and symbols interrelate can form a more accessible notion of Christianity. We believe it is possible to be Christian while not being dictated by first-century declarations of women’s worth, middle-ages atonement theories, or modern-day pigeon-holing of Christianity to one political party.
To that end, there are two important areas of Hacking Christianity that exemplify this mission:
- The #1 category here is bad.hacks, or attempts to change a system that cause it to end up worse off than before. These are often critiques of other Christian denominations, churches, and pastors. Yes, it isn’t good press to criticize inside-the-ballpark, but accountability is necessary. Pastors share their office title with the “God Hates F**s” Pastor Fred Phelps, thus we are in dialogue as to what Christianity looks like (and ours are completely different!).
- The second area is the echo-chamber, or the way how we create our lifestyles to remove dissonance and only include voices that reinforce our beliefs. This goes beyond only listening to Christian music, but encompasses customizing our news sources, places where we live…our entire lifestyle is completely customizable to remove dissonance! And often this retreat from dialogue is a bad thing and leaves our closed systems liable to exploitation or extreme veneration.
Ultimately, it could be enough that we remove barriers to the Christian system and render it accessible to the culture around us. It could be enough. But just as Christ did not birth his movement in isolation but called more to the task, so also must we build the network for the task ahead and suffer together in community.