Why Geekklesia

I'm always thinking about what I want to say here as well as over at the Facebook and Google + companion page for this site. But I don't limit myself to just the what; I also think about the why.  Why do I seek to post nuggets of interest (perhaps only of interest to me), and look for ways that these nuggets can illustrate spiritual truth?

I think it is because we live in an essentially pagan culture. And by pagan, I mean a culture that is biblically illiterate at is core.  A culture that, for all of its technological advances, is deeply wary, even cynical, when it comes to faith.

The 21st century is in many ways like the first century: despite pockets of believers, the wider world just doesn't know.

I recently saw a meme that claimed that geeks are people for whom the details matter. I'd also add that geeks also embrace the possibilities.

According to the Bible, mankind (both male and female) were created in the image of God. We aare introduced to God in Genesis 1, where the very first thing we see Him doing is creating the world. So, creativity is an intrinsic part of our makeup. For far too long the Church in general has not reacted well to creative people, many times mocking and even suppressing them.  It's no wonder that geeks are often quite creative, but feel as if the Church has no use for them.

But even those who do not subscribe to any particular faith seem to acknowledge that there are things like right and wrong and truth and beauty. As such, they are drawn to the stories about heroes righting the wrongs and saving the day.  As G. K. Chesterton wrote in "The Red Angel, "Fairy tales, then, are not responsible for producing in children fear, or any of the shapes of fear; fairy tales do not give the child the idea of the evil or the ugly; that is in the child already, because it is in the world already. Fairy tales do not give the child his first idea of bogey. What fairy tales give the child is his first clear idea of the possible defeat of bogey. The baby has known the dragon intimately ever since he had an imagination. What the fairy tale provides for him is a St. George to kill the dragon."  Echoing this idea, C. S. Lewis added "Since it is so likely that they will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage. Otherwise you are making their destiny not brighter but darker." (Of Other Worlds, "On Three Ways of Writing for Children" (1966))   Lewis' good friend J. R. R. Tolkien also wrote in his essay "On Fairy Stories" that all these classic stories of heroic derring do ultimately point us to the "True Myth," -- the Gospel story.

Our world is desperately seeking a hero. We have been disappointed that so many of the people we have been taught to trust - the police, clergy, teachers and so on have proven to be less than perfect in their trustworthiness. The government is mired in petty, partisan squabbles, and even the Church is caught up in debating minor points of doctrine which should not hang us up so much, but rather lead us to appreciate the majesty and beauty of Jesus Christ, our Risen Lord.

It is no wonder that some are drawn to speculative fiction, what some my call a geek culture. In this culture, we find readers, television and film viewers, gamers, writers, costumers, and the list goes on. Many of them have rejected those institutions that the majority culture was taught to believe in, and to strike out on their own, and find Truth for themselves.

It is this culture that Geekklesia seeks to serve.  In the seventeenth chapter of the book of Acts, the Apostle Paul used an image from the local culture to point to Christ (Acts 17:22-34).  It is our intention to do the same here, to the geek culture, rather than the Greek culture.

Therefore, "Geekklesiastics" are geek believers who will find ways to incorporate their faith in Christ along with their hobbies and synthesize them into an expression that reflect their whole being.

The Greek word "ekklesia," (ἐκκλησία) from which we draw the name "Geekklesia," means "those who are called out." It is the New Testament name for the Church. Geekklesia is not a church, per se, but an expression of it. In the same way that the early Christians were "called out" from their culture to form a new community based on their mutual faith in Jesus, Geekklesiastics are those who are "called out" of the mainstream by their shared love of science fiction, fantasy comic books and other geeky pursuits, but they are also "called out" of the geek community by their love for Jesus.

'Nuff said.

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