Good writing, with a strong point and with life oozing out.

Pete Rollins: The Irish Hurricane comes to Philly, Session 3

November 15, 2008

Session 3: Practicalities
(“What?” quoth P3T3RK3Y5, “I thought all of this was practical!”)

We need a donut structure of leadership. Truly decentralized—without a center. Not like a jam filled donut, where everything connects to the sweet center. So Pete’s community, Ikon, tells people that Ikon doesn’t care about you and your needs. The only person who cares about you is the person next to you– and if they don’t you’re stuffed. I will respond to you as myself, not as Ikon. There is no center to the donut. They have a nonmembership course, complete with cards to show that you’re not really a member. There is no core to Ikon. Blur the boundaries, and dismantle the system.

Xianity is not epistemological. You must get over the desire to have the singular answer. Instead, be Israel, and wrestle and fight with God. Ikon has an Omega course— “exit Xianity in 12 weeks”. Exit your understanding of Xianity. Not afraid of all the questions. A Jewish mother does not ask if the new fiance believes in God, she asks if they keep a Kosher home. Likewise, accept the vacillations of faith. They also read Neitzche, Freud, etc. during Lent at Ikon.

Doubt doesn’t take away from the decision, but adds to it. Real decision happens when you have doubts.

Christian community is a place where everyone can encounter one another. The liturgical moment when you step outside of time and enter into the eschaton. In most churches, we act as though none of our differences matter. We pretend that our differences don’t exist. Such community is just a theatrical performance. The goal at an Ikon gathering is that, for one hour they go beyond ideological differences. In this way, we can have liberal and conservative, rich and poor, old and young. They once took photos of everyone before church, jumping in mid-air. Then they displayed the photos around church: everyone hovering. Also, 100 hovering white balloons suspended in mid-air.

Revolutions always come too early. And the people enacting revolution are probably unaware of what they are doing. Then, after they’ve done it, the pioneers retroactively justify their actions.

In church, we are trying to replicate revelation. Embodying the thing itself. Three point sermons tell us what we already know. But we need those ideas to impact the place where our socially interactive selves encounter the world. Sermons might be brainwashing, and that is okay. But we need body washing.

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