I was watching TV– I know, the devil’s toolbox and all that—but, the channel kept advertising the movie “The Island.” You remember. It’s where Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson are clones (human insurance) used to provide spare parts for their respective originals. For example, if the actual person has a heart problem, then the clone would give his heart to save the person. Turns out these clones were jacked up. They began to have memories and feelings that came from their original donors. Instead of being a walking salvage yard for parts-harvesting, they pull a Pinocchio and become a real boy, uh, people. Every time a movie jumps on the clone topic this happens, some kind of bad mix with doodoo and a fan.
Clones are always screwed up. Look at any real-life experiment where we try this with animals, and you’ll find that they are fraught with freakish anomalies. Extra heads and legs. Multiples of eyes. A tiny Taco Bell sprouting on the side of a goat. Look at any epic clone film and what you find is they can’t just be copies without all the crap.
But that is the point of cloning.
To make a reasonable facsimile without all of the dysfunctional family/environmental input that makes us such freaks. Hitler tried something like that. He did it before cloning technology was available, with extermination of unwanted traits and purposeful breeding of individuals with desirable traits. He wanted to make a super race of people, separated from society, to take the human potential to a higher level. He was creating a Utopia.
Heaven on Earth, if you will.
After thinking this through, isn’t that we Christians are doing? We are cloning everything that enters the mainstream. We’ve got our own music, movies, and books. We jacked clothes styles and brands and jewelry. We knocked off breath mints and calendars and recipes and colleges and self-help gurus and blank checks and ATM cards and vitamins and tattoos and comics and pen-drives and air fresheners and schools and aerobics and…..and …..and ….. We even have our own fish. Ok, the last one maybe we didn’t abscond depending on the story you read. Why? The point is we are trying to sanitize the world. We are trying to make it easier to be Christian; to remove ourselves from the dirty temptation of the non-Christian society. Think of all those guides and posters geared toward youth pastors that show some type of grid. They basically say if you like _________ then try the Christian version__________.
I was talking to my oldest daughter (14 y/o) a few days ago. We were discussing the differences in our lives since moving to Paraguay. We got on the subject of serving others here as a way to build relationships. Once we have earned these friendships we may also gain the chance to be candid about Christ. She agreed that was the best method but told me, “In the U.S. I didn’t have many non-Christian friends.” “Why not?” I asked. Her response was telling, “I never really got the chance to meet anyone who wasn’t already going to church.” Our lives revolved around the subculture we’d joined, the little corner of the real world that only included the Jesus stuff.
Our family bought into the propaganda. We practically sequestered ourselves. We bought many of the Xeroxed and Oxy-cleaned versions of stuff. But like the clones in our movies, we Christians are defective. We are not operating as we are meant to. We are to be added to society at large like salt to a meal. We are to be added to the darkness to give light to all in the room. How will those in the dark room see?
Some of us lament that the world is growing worse everyday and we can’t figure out what strategy to implement to fix it. Maybe we need to “go INTO the world” to turn it around.
“These that have turned the world upside down have come here, too.” Acts 17:6
How are we going to turn the world upside down from the comfort of our Christian sub-culture’s fortress? I think that maybe while living in its safe confines we forgot there is a problem to fix. We homebuilt and spit-shined so much that we don’t run into blatant, ugly, raw godlessness in our daily lives. When we do, by some twist of fate, we don’t tackle it and arm-bar it with love. Instead, we haul tail back to the reservation. You may “think I don’t know a buttload of crap about the gospel but I do” and what I do know is that if we want people to start to follow Jesus we got to find some people who aren’t already following him. So….
Put down your MP3SUS player and turn off your not-so-angry-or-defiant Christian punk band, click pause on your Jesusize workout vid and put off cooking your Ezekiel bread for another day. Next door or down the street or at the club there is a neighbor you can go love like yourself.
What kind of bizarre Christian knock-off products have you seen? How are you breaking out of the “Righteous Ranch” to touch the outside world?