Thursday, May 26, 2005

Is it Christian?

Night One of the Convention I missed all but the last words of Phillis Tickle’s first talk, but I made it to the IKON worship service held at Downtown Presbyterian. We walked into an ambiently dark room lit by candles and dim overhead lights. The sound of worshipful techno bathed the room. A DJ stood elevated front and center where you might expect a full choir. Also up front but on the floor were three white canvases. On the middle one was painted in black handwriting the words "Lord, If You exist, Come Among Us" (or somthing close to that) Also on the floor were two screens on which were projected scenes, perhaps from some movie of the life of Jesus. The scene faded and re-appeared. Sometimes in color, sometimes in black and white, often in negative.

After some time, a speaker introduced the IKON group and the service. I have to admit that to my North American ears, the accents of the speaker added to the mystery in the service. First the speaker clarified that IKON is not a church, that ehy are a collection of people coming togetehr to see what it might mean to follow Jesus. They hope to one day be a community and perhaps be willing to call tehmselves a church.

Then the story. A prominent Christian personality attended an IKON experience. Afterwards he was quite complimentary. He said that he enjoyed the service, but asked "Is it Christian?" The response? "Probably not, but we're trying to be."


gavin richardson said...

hmmm, if that wasn't Christian, what would be? singing a hymn? we certainly didn't sing. liturgy? we had an element of liturgy (certainly from the definition 'the work of the people' we didn't participate in anything so maybe not). the stories could count as a sermon...

maybe i'm thinking too shallow. when two gather in my name there i shall be, should it not have been Christian just because we were there in prayer?

tdadpete said...

I'm just reporting what "the guy" (I didn't get his name) said. I took his point to be "We mean for it to be Christian, but if "Christian" means "like Christ" or "worthy of Christ," this service is only approaching Christian, not yet "qualified" to be labeled Christian. It's a different use of the adjective (Christian) than we are used to.