When the Pauline letters lay out the way to build up the Bride of Christ, we shouldn’t stop at his suggestions but continue it in love. Like all types of motifs throughout the Hebrew and Christian scriptures, we always should be inclined to add onto the spiritual layers of the good book.
Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
It would be fun (weeee…see?) to also input some types of ways on how the church without blemish (aka participating in oneness/connection with each other and God) should operates in the world at large. Not to show off of course (Christians would never do such a thing) but reflect on types of examples in how a healthy community works. I like how he compares it as a relationship because all grounded communities start with healthy relationships (no matter what shape or size).
Getting into a healthier connection with my wife, it helps to bring humor into the relational boogie. Just like the church, it is intertwined with the masculine and feminine qualities of all of us. It seems like from our history, anger and confrontation have been something that holds us back from using the gifts God gives us. Kind of like our relationships.
From his book, The Way of The Superior Man, David Deida explains humor and anger like this:
“Instead of getting angry because she’s so upset that you made one little mistake in a longer series of success, instantly shift the energy between you. Remember, history is irrelevant to the feminine, so your mistakes are as easily forgotten as your successes. As soon as you see she’s upset, immediately assume happiness. Shock her with your love. Make her smile and laugh with your humor.” Pg. 120
We are so tightly wound within our Jesus communities that we are no longer able to detach and laugh the nonsense off. We have no room to enjoy each other’s good, bad, and ugly facades. Grace and laughter are two sides of the same coin! Why must embrace “jolliness” within this spiritual tradition. Now, I am not implying that Christians do not giggle (hehe, see?). Any human being is going to experience this emotion occasionally.
What I am suggesting is when it comes to spiritual practice, Christianity has taken a more serious stance. From the onslaught of societal bullshit—we see from all arenas—I get the reasoning. It is hard to laugh when faced with such defeatism. But we are not blameless by any means.
Christian history–since it’s devastating relationship with the State (thanks a lot Constantine)–is saturated with wars, manifest destiny, slavery, racism, nationalism, culture wars, politics and fundamentalism. We have done some fucked-up shit (forgive me father it’s been two seconds since my last confession), and it is not a coincidence that we are not prone to a good chuckle.
We should start letting go of the long faces and start cracking each other up! I mean Jesus Christ, can I get a witness?! Maybe it’s time to realize whatever our history is, today is the day that we can bring about more connection throughout our faith. Thus, starting a trend of healing and liberation throughout all communities.
This isn’t a plea for some type of “frat boy” prank to dismantle the blow of this Empire Creed (even though that is a fun idea). No, it’s more a suggestion to maybe help the current state of American Christianity, and its failed portrayal of “gospel truth” in our day to day lives. We have moved to a place within the Jesus tradition, where all that matters is winning, no matter what the cost. For the love of God folks!
To both liberals and conservatives: Can we just maybe squeeze our armpits together and squeeze a little fart out into this stringent church order? We are all “rough around the edges’ ‘ creatures, needing the reminder to keep calm and chive on. We lost the vibrant practice of “being” a community and fell into the trap of systemization. When we prioritize conformity over camaraderie, Jesus’ vision of the commonwealth of God disappears out of existence.
Humor helps us cope with going through growth that is painful. When we can view it as a practice to maintain a healthy relationship, it can allow us to be free of our fear of crazy cycles. Let us all have Grace and laugh with each other so the world can witness Jesus’ sexy thing (aka church) shine!