Having NOT actually researched these things, but rather speaking from personal experience as an old guy, I wonder if we can’t fine tune our sensitivities as people of God just a bit and maybe assess the truth about ourselves and Jesus.
For me, this seems to have started with M*A*S*H (hereafter, just MASH).
MASH started out as a book, but I never read it. Then it became a movie, but I didn’t know that for many years after it had become a hit TV show. It helps if you are my age, or older, to appreciate what I am talking about here, but I was a little kid growing up when MASH was hot.
One of the main and enduring characters in that show was Radar O’Reilly. He might have been a major character, but the character was a simple kid pushed into a big war. Radar had a sixth sense for things about to happen. He frequently would announce “choppers” just prior to anyone else hearing them coming and bringing wounded soldiers to the MASH unit for treatment and surgery. Though this feature was often a source of humor, it also proved to be a flair for dramatizing the tragedy.
“Radar” was not the character’s true name, not the one his mother gave him. That was Walter, but because of his knack for sensing the future just ahead of everyone else, he earned the nickname. “Radar.”
Many years later, I heard people use a morphed version of the word to describe their ability to detect whether a new acquaintance might be homosexual. The new term was “gaydar.”
My guess is that the term “gaydar” is ripe to cause offense. I typically say very little about homosexuality on this blog since it is not my point of interest here, and the subject matter is so ripe for controversy. I hate to risk bogging down in that rather than my main interest, and so I keep a respectful distance from the topic most of the time because of that. But then there is the matter of having your “gaydar” triggered by mistake. That puts you in about the same place as suggesting the young lady is pregnant when she is not!
Really stepped in that one.
Nevertheless, the notion of a “gaydar” as a phenom in and of itself strikes me as an extension of the Radar O’Reilly thingy, on the one hand, and useful for OTHER topics too, on the other. The problem is that “gaydar” rhymes with radar so well that to move past the rhyme risks losing the point.
What about “paydar”? The ability to sense whether this course of education and training or any other type of investment will pay off. Does this opportunity trip your paydar???
My guess is that by clicking on the title of this post you might expect it to preach either for accepting and affirming homosexuality among the people of God OR against it according to my personal Holydar – which ever way I happen to roll. But actually, that would be beside my point.
In fact, all of this is beside my point.
I hope it helps set the stage for my point, but it is not the point. Not yet.
I’m thinking about my Jesusdar, actually. I am wondering how to fine tune it too.
Having grown up in the Churches of Christ – ahem – I mean, churches of Christ, I was raised to think very critically about denominationalism. How and why is the body of Christ split up so much? Surely, all that splitting is a mistake! The church is meant to be ONE, as Jesus in God, the Father, is ONE.
So… somebody, somewhere, botched this.
It stands to reason, then, that any church that has this stuff worked out correctly surely is getting it together with other churches working it out correctly, thus they are becoming ONE.
Unless, of course, they are all botched.
But that can’t be either, since Jesus builds his church on the Rock and the gates of hell cannot withstand it.
Therefore, there must be ONE among all the posers, fakers, beggars -n- hangers on. And, well, of course, that had to be us. We were the true church among all the phonies.
(Hey! It makes logical sense of the limited data it employs.)
But what constitutes “working it all out correctly”?
Hmmm… That is a whole OTHER can of worms. No doubt the old school church of Christ types I grew up with thought they had that simplified to easily manageable ideas, but over the course of my life, more and more and more of us either find such questions lead to ever increasing complexity, or we tend to just drop out altogether.
I once heard a man, not from our ranks, a complete layman among church goers though, anyway, this man said he could walk into a church and just sense the Spirit there – or not. If he sensed the presence of Jesus, he stayed and worshiped. If he did not sense Jesus among a congregation, he would simply slip away.
To me, that sounds extremely subjective – especially as put.
What if a sermon “steps on my toes” and calls for conviction and repentance?
I don’t know about you, but when that happens to me, I generally go through some FEELINGS, some of which are not attractive. In fact, I might feel repelled and repulsed, at least initially, and if I am simply going on a sensation, I might slip away from a congregation before I have had a real chance to determine the discipline God is working into my life.
That seems a little too consumerist in nature to me. I really like the prices, the selection, the location, and the return policy at Walmart, but if a clerk there miffs me, I can drive just two blocks further (and not have to hassle with the left turn in heavy traffic too, I might add) and shop at Target which has almost as good a selection and friendlier staff! What’s different from Jesus and shopping?
I need a better Jesusdar than just my sensation.
Well, I have been reading and studying my Bible and looking for Jesus in it for many years now, and one of the things I notice is that poor, broken, sick, needy, crippled, and lonely people seem to have a really good Jesusdar! The Good Book tells us that they come from EVERYWHERE to see him, to hear him, to touch him (or the hem of his shirt)! When he gets in a boat and cuts across the sea, they have a Jesusdar sense about where he is going, and they get there ahead of him!
Hear me very carefully on this point: THERE MAY WELL BE (and I believe there are) MORE & OTHER INDICATORS to consider here, BUT NOT LESS.
If you want to go to a church, a congregation, where you can sense Jesus is really there, FOLLOW THE POOR! Listen to THEM! THEY HAVE THE JESUSDAR you been missing.
How many poor folx y’all got where you worship?