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Sunday, May 15, 2011

There is No Chaos

Sometimes people, even Christian people, seem to think there is a duality called order versus chaos. I'd like to refute that.

The other day I watched an episode of Joan of Arcadia. It's my mom's favorite show. The main character, Joan, is a fairly normal high school girl who suddenly hears God talk to her. It was originally on CBS, so God is a vague, universalist God who doesn't seem as concerned with love as the God I know does (though God is a benevolent enough character on the show). It's a cute show, which got canceled after enough atheists made an uproar after just a few seasons. The reruns come on the Gospel Music Channel now.

Anyway, the episode I was watching is called Queen of the Zombies and it's the best episode in my humble opinion. God tells Joan to get involved in the school play, which is having auditions for a chorus three days before the performance. The crazy director is having them 'stay open to the creative process' which basically means he changes everything about the play daily. It's hilarious. The crazy artist, and especially theatre major, in me really, really wishes I could be involved in such a play. Oh, it's madness! But such fun!

So on the night of the play everything goes crazy. Someone drops from the ceiling accidentally and kicks the lead in the face. There's a small fire on stage that the set designer has to run out and put out with a fire estinguisher... which makes all the people on stage start coughing. It's crazy! Then enter Joan to sing a lovely song...

In the end she finds out that the crazy director is God. And that even though it's all chaos, it's amazing planned chaos. Really, it's not chaos at all even though everything goes crazy, because God's in control. And it ends up being hilarious and as Joan's brother declares, the best show ever.

That's my favorite episode. And you know why? It's not just because I'm a theatre major, even though that's part of it, but it's mainly because it exemplifies something I believe. There is no chaos. Yes, everything seems out of control, but if you realize that God is sovereign, and He's always in control, then you realize there is no such thing as chaos. You don't have to fight chaos to realize God's order (and God is very, very orderly), you have to know God better to see God's order is in everything! I've heard some Christians try to make a case that the universe is order v. chaos, and therefore our battle is with chaos and somehow organization is a holy end to itself. But they're wrong.

Everything that seems like chaos is not chaos, because God brings it all to order. Our eyes are just too small to always see it.

Organic is a buzz word nowadays, meaning food/plants grown without chemicals. But the first time I learned the word was in art class. Organic lines are lines that follow nature- they curve, bend, wiggle. Organic really refers to nature, to that which is alive.

So this chaos v. order theory is sort of in the same vein as the organic v. structure subject. So often Christians bent on order, assuming bring order is bringing God's will, they turn something organic into a structure. They look at the vine and say "It is inefficient. It bears fruit, but if they grow ripe they fall and are trampled on the ground. Let us form it so that it can bear them efficiently, so that it can hold more and offer it in a pleasing manner." So they take the vine and they weave it into a basket and place the fruit inside. And indeed, it is pleasing in sight and helps the fruit be efficient born to those to whom it is offered... but when that fruit runs out, it is over. The vine has been killed and is good no more but for one function, which is now done. It will either be thrown out or will bear something that might not be from life at all.

This is what some Christians try to do, all over, to organize churches, and rob it of their life. They are well meaning, but they don't realize they are the branches. As a branch, they should be focusing on the source of life, that is God. Instead they focus on the branches as if it's not their job to grow in joyful, living unity with the entire vine but instead to tame the branches. If you realize you're being woven into a basket, stop quick! It may not be too late, you may not yet have been severed from the lifesource and will still be able to grow.

The Church is an organic being, which might seem disorganized or chaotic, but pulses with life. Let it be. Our gardener is God, and He will prune us as necessary. We are NOT the architect, only the builders. Don't plan so much. Only grow towards the light, and let the life flow through you. You don't have to worry about the rest. Just drink in the water of life, absorb the light, and the fruit will be born. This can seem alien to us, because it is not the way of fallen man. Jesus's yoke is light. Rejoice!

1 comment:

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