I can almost hear the talk around the elk hunters morning campfire, “Where did I leave my Bible? I just set in on a log yesterday and now I cannot find it… ”
Here are some snippets from the Religion newsblog website:
The cover of this Bible is graced by leaves and tree bark. This enables the devout who also hunt to take their Bible into the woods with them while concealing it from their prey.
The article then gets to the root of things:
Such products are classically American and highlight cultural traits which are especially pronounced in the South.
The first is a love affair with all things cam, from pick-up trucks to baseball hats to shotguns.
“Men in the South love camo, it’s just another way to communicate that they are an outdoorsman,” said Lingner.
These products also highlight the U.S. evangelical love affair with hunting, fishing and the great outdoors.
I am going to have to disagree that this is a Southern thing, as here in Southeast Washington there are many men (at least the people I work with) who enjoy hunting, fishing, camping and etc.
And this is not just a ‘hunter thing’ Western Christianity seems to have found a way of attaching itself onto all sorts of areas of life. I am sure this is fueled by a sincere effort to have Christianity in all of one’s life… but is Christianity really suposed to impact life from the outside via t-shirts and other assorted products? Or does Christianity impact life from the inside of one’s heart and into all of one’s life?
If we are seeking Christ, living a life of repentance, I think it is the later.
Although the camo Bible cover is a bit humorous to me it is just another example of gimics being used. I too have been guilty of using gimics. I am ashamed to admit that when I used to work with youth, on one occassion I offered to pay kids $5 for each friend that they brought is a series we were doing, some kids took me up on it too….
It is just sad to me that Christians have resorted to gimics, gimics that come and go….
It is not just products either– one can also see Worship gimics, “creative” teaching/theology gimics, and other things as well.
Is this what Christianity is all about?
I realize that for some, perhaps they partake of different things in a pursuit of REAL Christianity. I know that in my own Christian journey I banked from Charismatic to Liturgical and back again. Trying to figure out what Christianity was all about, that there had to be more to following Christ than saying the sinner’s prayer and then hanging on until I died. It would be honest to say that at times I was ready to toss the whole thing in and just be a tree-hugging pagan.
It is at this point that it would be appropriate to share “the nutshell version” of how I came to the Orthodox Church.
I was raised in the Lutheran church, but I would describe my formation as pretty much evangelical with a charismatic influence. I had accepted Christ and was seeking to follow Him. My spiritual formation was in the Lutheran Church and in a youth ministry from Calvary Chapel of Long Beach.
I still remember when in the 80’s I asked a question about Christianity to a friend. I asked him, “Is there more to Christianity than this?” There just seemed to be something lacking… my question seemed to stem from the whole “I am a Christian, now what?” sort of thing.
Anyways… as years went on I came across the book, ‘Becoming Orthodox’ this is about Orthodox Christianity and the journey of some Campus Crusade for Christ people who were searching for the original Church. The ideas presented made sense to me and my evangelical mind. But that was like the seed of introduction. Over the years my exposure to Orthodox Christianity grew…
Probably 10 years ago a Priest moved to Walla Walla and started an Orthodox Mission. I remember one woman I knew who pretty much said that she knew it would only be a matter of time for me to become Orthodox once the Mission started.
I started attending Services every so often. I continued to learn more and become more exposed to Orthodoxy.
Eventually it came time for me to make a decision about the whole Orthodox ‘thing.’ In a nutshell what it came down to was: 1. Is the Orthodox Church the original Church? and 2. If it is, do I have a responsibility to be there. My answer was “yes” on both accounts.
In July of 2000 my wife and I, along with our two children (we now have 3 kids) were baptised.
(I told you that this is the nutshell version; Tthere is more to the story than this, I would be glad to correspond with anyone who would like to know more about my journey.)
Since coming into the Church I have learned so much more about the Faith and it’s practices, and have also learned how much I do NOT know. It is in The Church that the question asked in the 80’s, “I am a Christian, now what?” Has finally found an answer.
The Orthodox Church contains the fullness of the Christian Faith.
The Orthodox Church has the ‘spiritual medicines’ for the healing of our souls. And the Church has been doing this without gimics.