Archive for January 8th, 2008

Tim Reed makes the long journey out of Owosso to go interview Noel Heikkinnen who pastors at Riverview Church about the way his church works.

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It seems that a lot of the themes the ODMs and us have been dealing with is our definition of “the flesh”. Ingrid displayed a video of some church teens dancing to “All I Want for Christmas”. While there was no context given for the video (it could have been for a talent show), I can understand why someone could become annoyed with that. Ingrid also doesn’t know if the church was evangelical to begin with. To claim that this is the future of evangelical churches is a stretch, at best.

In addition, the creator of the video later changed the title of the video (it was originally called something like “body worship”) and said “…too many people were having negativity that this isnt a “body worship” and it defiles the name of Jesus. When it was just a dance so i made a mistake on putting the title body worship on there so i changed it.” Ingrid has yet to express her gratitude that the title was changed. I also looked for the “tight jeans” that Ingrid referred to and didn’t see them. The girls were just wearing normal jeans.

So, ok, like I said, I can understand why someone might be annoyed by “All I Want for Christmas” being played in church. I get it. I really do.

But what about movement in worship? is any movement we make in worship “in the flesh” and wrong? This is a video from the same author who did the “All I want for Christmas”. The teens seem to be worshipping God. Like I said in a previous post, I don’t have a Motivation Detector. But it appears to be genuine worship.

The second question I have is this: is any movement we make in enjoyment “of the flesh?” I know this seems like a silly question. But I’m being serious. Let me give you an example.

I watched “Along Came Polly” this past weekend. It was a mediocre film at best so I don’t recommend it. Anyway, one of the scenes featured Ben Stiller and Jennifer Aniston salsa dancing. It was, in my opinion, a little more like dirty dancing. If that had been my only exposure to salsa dancing, then my first reaction would have been in shock and I would have thought how evil salsa dancing was. How very ODMey of me.

However, I have actually been exposed to real salsa dancing. I’ve been to the “hottest” salsa club in Boston. I’ve taken a month worth of lessons with my fiancée. I can tell you that what happened in “Along Came Polly” doesn’t happen in real life. Sure, you could turn somehow turn salsa into some sort of latino bump and grind. However, I just haven’t seen it in person. Sure, some people dress inappropriately in the club, however, the same percentage of people dress inappropriately in my office workplace.

Furthermore, I am thoroughly “white”. I don’t have an once of rhythm in me. If anyone should be shocked by latino dance, it should be me. But I’m not. And I kind of enjoy salsa dancing. I can also tell you that I’ve never “grinded” or touched inappropriately. So, is salsa dancing ontologically evil? Am I “in the flesh” when I’ve danced salsa?

I honestly think that a lot of it might be what we’ve been exposed to. I imagine Ingrid doesn’t have many people in her church that wear jeans every Sunday. I imagine that many of the ODMs, as they are locked in their basement with their tin foil hats, get their ideas about culture by what they see on television, movies or Youtube. However, that doesn’t necessarily equal reality. The ODMs sometimes point out the worst examples of culture and add in new (unbiblical) rules to basic Christian faith so we avoid not just being of the world, but being in the world.

What do you think? Is anything we enjoy with our bodies wrong? Is it wrong to dance for fun? Is it wrong to enjoy a good meal with friends? Is it wrong to do mixed bathing at the local swimming hole with your bible study group (thanks Joe Martino)? Is it wrong to go to a baseball game with your family? Where do we draw the line?

*Update

Ingrid added this:

**Update**The YouTube member who posted this video has since changed the title to “All I Want is You DANCE” instead of “All I Want is You Body Worship” which was the original title. Churches are using the term Body Worship to describe any group of nubile young women who stand up on stage and wriggle to pop music. Body Worship is actually a very accurate term when you think about it. It has nothing remotely to do with the worship of our thrice holy God. We know this because Scripture tell us that those who are in the flesh cannot please God.**

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