We’ve decided to start a new venture as congregations: I call it “Theology Thursdays: Biblical Experience, Exploration, & Reflection.” Or B.E.E.R. for short. Things like this…you gotta have a catchy name.
The general idea is this (and it’s nothing new, at least where I came from in the Twin Cities): people come together at a restaurant to discuss matters of faith and life over some appetizers and a beer. Bring a bible, don’t bring one…..really all you need is yourself. And the only rule: if you cause a fight that comes to blows or over-the-top shouting, then you owe everyone a round.
Anyway, we had our inaugural meeting last night. 16 people from both congregations, and one from another congregation in the area came together to discuss “gender roles.” It centered around a recent article about Mark Driscoll, ex-pastor at Mars Hill. The gist: men’s penises are on loan from God, in search of a “home,” specifically, a woman’s vagina. Men are to keep their “home” happy….and women are to simply make sure their “home” is somewhere their man wants to be.
The conversation started raunchy, resulting in lots of laughs. Best quote of the night: “So if I’m a larger woman, does that mean I’m a mansion?” But then it turned to talk of gender roles. And then it turned to what the Bible has to say about those gender roles up and against what we believe today….and it turned into a discussion of Biblical authority and interpretation. And the discussion was serious. Thoughtful. Smart. Interesting.
And we listened to each other…and we got off topic. (The Vikings were getting their asses handed to them on Thursday Night Football; Baseball playoffs were opening) And after about 2 hours, we wrapped things up….although some probably would’ve stayed longer.
And people walked away saying things like,
“Gosh, this was really interesting….never done something like this. But I liked it.”
“Honestly, I was skeptical of this idea….but it was actually pretty interesting. We have to try new things I guess…we haven’t done that for a long time.”
“I really like this….this is something I’ve been looking for for a long time.”
All great things. But what I hope more than anything: people see this is being church. This is THEIR church. Something they’re proud to be a part of, something they feel a part of, something where they experience the grace and love of God, and come to know more about God. And it’s something they feel compelled to share with others…..we just about had the waitress join in!
Until next time…..1st and 3rd Thursdays of every month.