accomodation & resistance
today i'm wondering about living life as a christian in my context of the u.s.a. this morning i read in the hebrew scriptures and the apocrypha about jewish folks who were spread out over the ancient near east either in exile or as a result of exile. the stories of daniel, maccabees, tobit, judith illuminate the idea of resistance. they all refused to eat food that would be unclean and the lord seemed to honor that. in romans then paul speaks to the church about what practices to incorporate into their lives, and which ones not to accomodate. mostly what paul says is to be tolerant of other believers convictions. it has caused me to reflect a little more about what things i can accomodate and what things should i resist in terms of living in a postmodern world. i've accomodated technology, beer, cigars, and dropping the "f" bomb when it is useful to the conversation. i have resisted the no-carb diet, getting people saved, wearing girl pants, and being republican (or democrat for that matter).
of course this will get hairy with really important issues like homosexuality, practicing other religions, stem cell research, nanotechnology, and the list could go on and on. this has really hit home a little bit more because marie had a conversation with a coworker last week at the pub house (a nazarene christian publishing place). the conversation was about the emergent church and they got onto reinterpretting scripture and some basic theological questions. he ended their time with the question, "So, how do we stay set apart (holy)?" in this post-modern world. in some ways this is the question daniel and others dealt with as they were living in a gentile world. the difference would be that they didn't have practices to make them holy. they already knew they were holy. holiness was something god did, not them. that is a presuppostion that some would disagree with. so what is it that sets us apart? is it by resisting certain practices? is it by accomodating certain practices? is there something else? and should that (whatever makes us set apart) cause us to accomodate or resist anything in our current world?