the Crucible

Kontract Kill’s Kommunity

Kontract Kills Kommunity
The very separation of church and state that our forefathers protected us from, doesn’t seem to be let go of by the mainstream church.  By some opponents the conservative right has been lumped into the mainstream church because of  its proof text justification.  Which is manifesting destiny and triumphalism.  This is a slap in the face to any who have ears or eyes in our culture.  With countless corporate undoing’s and mistrust, our generation refuses to see the sacredness of our own, faith, branded, manipulated and controlled.  In a “Coldplay”  or “Matisyahu”  world it is all we have to hang on to…  Relationship is not hierarchical, relationship doesn’t understand chaos, relationship is void of contractual bindings.  Relationship hurts.

Recently it seems that the Church is going through a dialogue of semantics.  Many have become personally disillusioned over the interpretation of language and just how radically different interpretations and baggage associated with definitions can be.  The word “Covenant” appears to be one illustration of this.  The Biblical word for covenant has very little to do with our culture according to Merriam Webster the voice of a 21st century audience.

“cov•e•nant (k?v’a-nant)  n. 1. A binding agreement; a compact. See synonyms at bargain, pledge 2. Law. a. A formal sealed agreement or contract. b. A suit to recover damages for violation of such a contract
3. a : (pledge) a binding promise or agreement to do or forbear b (1) : a promise to join a fraternity, sorority, or secret society (2) : a person who has so promised“

Again the implications of simple definitions and semantics needs clarification; a covenant, or being part of a relationship, can easily have the same spoken language with radically different intent.  One could argue that the Biblical definition of covenant has also had added definition – definition that has been added to the text. 
By not fully grasping the meaning of covenant the Church can weld a dangerous sword of power and control.  When the starting points for this relational covenant are not defined, things become dangerous.  When institutions of power and individuals clash the contractual interpretations of covenant get grabbed hold of and the historical origins of covenant in terms of relationship become forgotten.  What can become clear to the individual within the dysfunctional hierarchy of relationship is that regardless of individual issues or interpretations; (right or wrong), the views of the holders of power and control are the ones that potentially become dogma.  This is dangerous because a perceived and established hierarchy or right of rule can quickly become justified, rendering the opinions and understandings of the individual as dismissive and not considered part of the original contract (a word which gets guised in covenant).  How tragic.  Implicitly there is not a covenantal journey of transpiring togetherness, but rather a covenantal journeying with.  Once entrapped in this contract snare a journeyer can quickly and painfully see the distinction.  A contractual relationship or the sort can never be truly relational. 

Relationship is the currency of the ipod generation
The ipod generation understands a lot of things.  Sharing and burning for friends is definitely one aspect of relationship that they grasp.  Similarly a true biblical model of covenantal relationship demonstrates that within reciprocity there truly is equality.  It is an acknowledged that is a Utopian view of relationship, and hence, can perhaps only be modeled by a cosmic being.  But in its purest form with the least dysfunction, relationships that are reciprocal are the goal.  It is essential to note that when that attempt at equality gets infused into a business, a network, or Church with built in hierarchy, something is lost.  Rather than covenant the derivative is always contract.  By definition entering into a contract or a covenant with an individual has some implicit terms.  It is important to recognize this tendency before entering into covenant: One should consider who is making up the contract.  If the contract is not flexible, and mutually derived it is one, which ultimately cannot be maintained.  Worse still it could become a bond of power and control, unable to change without radical measure.  That does not seem biblical! 
The ipod generation understands the work involved in keeping relationships reciprocal, but, within a hierarchical system, one doesn’t need to be a environmental sociologist to predict the outcomes of the covenant: it will always be controlling, and ultimately hierarchical (not bad in itself, but abhorrent in a covenant and biblically out of place). Those in power rationalize personal feelings, but the feelings of the subservient become potentially become demonized.  The covenant quickly becomes a one-way street lead to destruction.  Perhaps this is because the starting point is off base.  Human nature perhaps is to blame but therefore more reason careful consideration has to be warranted to the erection of structure and organization, which purports to be covenantal.



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