25.3.09

The blood!

Just researching some ideas for how best to design the Good Friday poster for our church and I came across this from Mars Hill. Just wondered what your reactions might be to it. It certainly isn't something that I could show my children. They understand what happened on the cross and have asked questions about it but this could really frighten them. I remember when I was eleven and I comprehended for the first time properly, I think, the horror. I understood as best as an eleven year old can what had happened on the cross as I began to think about preparing for my confirmation.

I remember last year, the almost agonising wait for Easter Sunday as we all took part in the live drama around the estate at Le Abbey playing out the events and the Good Friday event was very profound. Christians at Mars Hill must really go through it at Easter time and whilst, in contrast, many British Anglicans, hide their emotions behind their stiff upper lips, I wonder if Mars Hill might be taking things a bit too far.

Easter at Mars Hill

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Easter is about the resurrection. In the early Church, the cross was not even used as a Christian symbol. It was only in the middle ages that the Roman Church put so much emphasis on the cross and on Good Friday. This has been taken up by protestants, because of their affection for the doctrine of penal substitution. If I were you, I would go lightly on Good Friday images and concentrate on the message of Easter. One problem, among many, is the whole idea of 'was ever suffering like this?', when, quite clearly, many people have suffered more than Jesus, for longer. We shouldn't take Good Friday out of Holy Week, but we shouldn't let it take over from what is really important. (No doubt I shall now be attacked by slogans like 'no cross, no crown' by people who only listen to half of what I have just written.)

Rachel said...

Thank you for your contribution anon. I am designing a poster as best as I can which captures the hope of what is to come on the Easter Sunday. You raise some very interesting points. I suppose if we look at the cross through our faith, Jesus took on all the sins of the world and so suffered more than anyone else but the pain suffered by Jesus in his humanity has indeed been suffered to the same extent by other human beings, I was speaking about this today at home with my husband about how there are people who have endured and endure incredible suffering at the hands of others or as victims of war etc

jody said...

hi rachel

it is powerful, but i think that i agree with anon that the focus is a distortion if it is found in isolation.

btw did you know that this is mark driscoll's marshill church, and not rob bell's marshill church (in terms of theology, they are ironically incredibly different...)

xjody

Rachel said...

Hi Jody
Yes, they only have their church name in common, although separate American geography. They are both controversial it would seem but for almost the opposite reasons. I'm a bit all 'nooma ed' out at the mo so probably not in the best place to appraise Bell. When you start rather than listening to their content to working out their format and style, you know you need to take a break from them for a while. Bell seems to talk about life first and sometimes is a little crass and simplistic in his attempts at psych-analysing humanity - he then applies what 'some guy who wrote a letter' in the Bible says about that to the situation. Rob Bell seems to speak more to the emerging Christian, and tries not to be too intellectual or doctrinal in case he puts them off - it's all very gentle.

Driscoll seems to go straight for the hard-line and shocking messages of the Bible - he wants to shake up his audiences and have them reassess their lives. He would seem to be into teaching and rebuking.

They both profess to admire John Piper deeply but seem to have less admiration for each other. I think any church which seems to align itself too heavily with one of these pastors would lead me to want to seek out the teachings of the other for a little balance. Perhaps I need to leave them both alone for a while too great is the gulf between them, there's almost a feeling of vertigo from swinging between them.

Rachel said...

Also in response to Driscoll's invitation to get down on my knees and weep all day Good Friday, I am uncomfortably reminded of Barth's reaction against the Christian piety of the nineteenth century. Is it actually going to achieve anything - all this emotion and what about Christ's 'Do not weep for me' in Luke 23:28 - is there not something a bit individualistic and self-indulgent about this call to weep and kneel?

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