Redeeming the world

19 10 2010

I believe in Christ who not only redeems his people but also seeks to redeem the entire world and all that humans have done to try to destroy it.  There are others who disagree with me.

The approach to redeem the world was the stance of the Catholic church for hundreds of years.  As they came into a new land, they would overtake the “gods” of the land and sanctify them into saints at work in the land.

There are two approaches one can make toward this.  One is that this is a wrong and sinful practice which shows that the Catholic church has been blended with paganism and therefore is corrupt.

Or…on the other hand, the approach could be that the Catholic church has sought to redeem that which was corrupted by humankind and turn it around to glorify Christ and serve him.

I tend to lean toward the second (most of Protestantism leans toward the first).  I want to serve a God who is at work in the world to redeem and sanctify the entire world (not just humans who “ask Jesus into their heart”).  I want to serve the God who is redeeming all of creation that humanity has corrupted with its sin.  This is the God I want to serve.

With the idea of God at work to redeem all of creation, I am lead to think about Halloween which is in less than two weeks.  Halloween which was a Pagan holiday known as All Hallows Eve was the night when the evils of the world would roam the earth and could be appeased by the leaving of treats on ones doors (i.e. trick-or-treating).  But when Christianity came into the pagan Celtic culture, they sought to redeem this by it coinciding with All Saints Day on November 1.  A day to remember all saints of history (those who have a special day and those who do not).  This is a way for Christians to dig deep into the memory of their past and celebrate believers in Christ who have passed on.  Even the establishment of All Saints Day dates back to 609 or 610 (according to Wikipedia) when Pope Bonaface IV redeemed the Pantheon in Rome to the blessed Virgin.

So what in society can be redeemed today in the same way that Christians have done this for hundreds of years?  What pagan practices can be restored back to glorifying Christ?

I believe that some areas that are in the process of being restored are sex and film.  Notice that is sex and film, not sex on film.  Sex is a very hot topic in Christianity (no pun intended) where many people are writing and speaking on the sanctification of sex.  At one time sex was considered a dirty word and yet today it is being redeemed back to its glorification of Christ.

The other area is film.  I am not speaking about Christian films, which tend to portray a health and wealth gospel, but instead I am speaking about films with Christian messages that are not necessarily Christian.  The Matrix, Dogma, and The Big Kahuna all come to mind.  Other churches are using films like Braveheart or The Big Lebowski to present Christian messages that are in the films (even if the filmmakers did not intend them).  These are pagan practices being redeemed by the church.

Are there any others?  *Just for corrective purposes, A Mighty Fortress is Our God was not a drinking song according to this and Wikipedia does not mention it.

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