Brothers and sisters, I couldn’t talk to you like spiritual people but like unspiritual people, like babies in Christ. I gave you milk to drink instead of solid food, because you weren’t up to it yet. Now you are still not up to it because you are still unspiritual. When jealousy and fighting exist between you, aren’t you unspiritual and living by human standards?
1 Corinthians #:1-3 (Common English Bible)
My people are Jamaican. One Jamaican “staple” I saw around the house coming up was “overproof” rum (Wray and Nephew White to be exact). For the uninitiated, overproof rum is rum that is stronger than most rums; in fact Wray and Nephew’s 126-Proof! There are other rums from the Caribbean that are 150-Proof and more! Talk about potent stuff that’s not for the squeamish.
Now before you teetotalers out there begin to think I’m calling for a Happy Hour (although that Wray and Nephew’s some good rum), let me explain this post.
The current popular brand of Christianity today is likened to the “milk” Paul spoke of in tonight’s text. You see, we never (save for a minority of Christians) ascended to the higher living that Jesus the Christ calls us to. We still cater to the “carnal” or base kind of living: we settle for less in our spiritual development. Our contemporary “Christian” literature can range from patriarchal to childish. In turn, we start to crave a harmless and sanitized Jesus in worship that entertains. We’ve taken the iconoclastic firebrand rabbi Jesus the Christ and transformed him into a safe “gentle Jesus meek and mild” that palatable to us.
However, like its rum counterpart, Overproof Christianity is “full strength” Christianity; pure Jesus, pure teaching-the straight dope with no additives or dilution. This is beyond Paul’s “meat” in the above text. It’s the mystical, prophetic, and engaging Christianity that calls for us to live integrated lives that engage the Divine and each other. This Christianity is NOT diluted with the cultural crap, nor the ecclesiastical additives we find in our churches. Instead, it’s a potent potable that’s Kick-ass with a capital “K”. Overproof Christianity engages you wherever you are. It speaks to the weightier matters: justice, love, tolerance, openness-all that Jesus exhibited here on Earth. It doesn’t treat Scripture as “gospel”, instead it reads Scripture for what it is-man’s interpretation of the Divine. And it promotes fellowship of every kind-from Communion to intimacy at all levels.
Overproof Christianity is what’s sorely needed for the spiritually dissatisfied. Believe me, there are a lot of spiritually dissatisfied souls in our world today. People who have grown tired of lifeless “churchianity” being palmed off as Christianity. People who need their souls revived and “inner man” engaged; but instead get talked at and are fed the religious equivalent of junk food. Youth who find the church to be out of step with the times. Men and women who tire of pigeonholing gender roles that have no place in our 21st Century. Many are tiring of Christianity’s being irrelevant.
Time to crack open the bottle of Overproof Christianity and imbibe the dope truths and spiritual wisdom that Jesus brought forth from the Divine. To “live fully and love wastefully” (per John Shelby Spong). To engage the Divine from the heart in integrated ways. To ask the tough questions even if we don’t have the answers. This blog will do its best to provide that Overproof Christianity for the spiritually dissatisfied.
Overproof Christianity’s dangerous stuff. Care to take a taste? Especially for Lent?