Three Dangerous Things

 In Featured, Pastor Jason's Blog

by Pastor Jason Kramme

In 2007, Gever Tulley gave a TED Talk titled “5 Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Kids Do.” In it he made the case that all parents should allow their children to play with fire, own a knife, throw a spear, deconstruct an appliance, and break a law.

Why?

He argued that as kids engage with these activities, they begin to learn things that the modern bubble of super-parenting often withholds. Things like laboratory skills, how to extend the self with a tool, mind-body connection, engineering, and freedom.

While at the time of this recording Gever didn’t have children of his own, he was founding a camp called The Tinkering School, a school dedicated to providing children with opportunities to learn by doing—semi-dangerous things.

Tulley has a list that is 50 items long, but I’ll save you the recap. Suffice it to say that he believes modern kids are missing out on the type of real-world exploration needed to be happy and whole because of our desire to limit the possibility of harm.

Here’s where I’ll leave Tulley and pick up Jesus’ argument to an overly safe religious landscape in the first century and what it has to do with our spiritual formation today. The type of religiosity that had developed by the time Jesus’ earthly ministry began was anything but wild or exploratory. There were rules to follow, hierarchies to observe, and orders to inhabit if you wanted to be a “in.”

From the get-go, the gospel writers show us a Jesus coming from the wrong place, the wrong family situation, and with all the wrong people. He broke the laws, subverted the hierarchies, and disordered the ordered nature of the religious world.

In so-doing, he made a lot of enemies. He provoked a wildly anxious response from a lot of well-meaning and not-so-well-meaning religious leaders. But he also showed the law-bound how to be free. He showed the lowest in society that they have value, and he proclaimed that all those excluded from the established order were included in the new order of the Kingdom of God.

I fear that we can tend to be overly safe in our faith, so I want to encourage you to try three dangerous things in your faith this week.

  1. See everything as God-Breathed – I think a lot of us would agree that people have God’s life-bringing breath in us and that in some way God has breathed life into our scriptures. What about a tree? What about someone from a different faith? What about bacteria?
  2. Call God by another name – If you address God the same way every time you pray, then you are priming yourself to see God the same way every time you pray. This week, use this list to give you new ways to address God.
  3. Accept that humans had a part in writing the Bible – What if you could see human intention in the biblical story? What if the human authorial intent actually shines brighter in some sections than God’s intent?

What dangerous things did you try from this list? Leave a comment. If you have more suggestions, then leave those!

 

Jason serves as Pastor of Spiritual Formation and Stewardship

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