Cobus is a guest publisher this week on the blog. A Pastor with a vision of Church that is biblical. You can read more of his stuff on his blogs
If you park and enter on level 6 of Menlyn mall, on your way to the movies, you used to walk past the tattoo-parlour and then CUM books. According to some the tattoo-parlour was quite dodgy, with the girl with the leather straps which only cover the most needed parts decorating the front window.
When I walked past, I noticed that the tattoo-parlour was gone, and CUM busy to be enlarged, into the space previously occupied by the tattoo-parlour. The tension is gone. All that remains is Christian culture. And then I walk through CUM, where book after book is selling different forms of prosperity theology of fundamentalism. Christian consumerism.
And then we have to be church. And I have to preach. And as a preacher I am by default being associated with CUM. By default so many people expect that the church must support the typical CUM book. I mean, its Christian. O, and by default I suspect the church is supposed to rejoice because of the closure of the tattoo-parlour with the girl with the leather straps. But I’m not rejoicing.
I struggle to see the crucified Jesus in the bigger CUM books. Menlyn level 6. No books make such a sale as Christian books. CUM reminds me that the church is not under oppression, that the church is in a position of power. And we must cry about that. We must cry about the church that is driving the tattoo-parlour with the girl with the leather straps out of society to make more place for Christian consumer-goods.
What then about being church? I don’t know how to formulate it yet, but in a way I feel like we have more need for a church that is asking questions about the big Christian bookshop next to Menlyn’s movies, a church that can be a counter-cultural voice against the reigning Christian culture. I hope the church can do that…