Jedi Christians

There is a disturbance in the force. The dark side threatens to overwhelm the light. A cloud of unknowing and confusion is blurring the once clear distinction between right and wrong.

Whether we’re talking about today or a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far, away it is clear that civilization needs wisdom and leadership to counteract the forces of darkness.

The Jedi, a fraternal order who possessed a clear calling to preserve the peace, filled this role a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far, away. To be a Jedi meant living a disciplined life of single-mindedness. A Jedi’s character was beyond reproach. Each successive generation was taught how to harness the force to accomplish what seemed impossible to most. Their special powers were never used offensively — the Jedi were peacemakers whose wisdom was always invested to serve the greater good in a defense against the dark side.

A few weeks ago I was talking with George Barna about the emerging crisis among young adults age 18-22 who are abandoning the ‘organized church’. They say that: they never encounter God in the church, their tribal connections are stronger outside the church than in it, the teaching seems irrelevant to their daily lives and what they’ve seen in their parents compels them to seek a better, more authentic way. Unlike previous generations this one appears not to be returning after a few years of independence. It is not only the young who crave something deeper from their faith experience, many of us long to see American Christianity break away from it’s current consumeristic, packaged shallowness.

Over the last few days I’ve suggested that what is needed is an Order of Jedi Christians to recover the radical nature of Jesus’ original vision for his disciples.

A Jedi Christian would be single-minded in a commitment to deny self, take up a cross and follow Jesus. Jedi Christians would: obey the great commandments (Luke 10:26-28), master the weapons of spiritual warfare (Ephesians 6:10-20) and would produce the fruit of the spirit in daily life (Galatians 5:22-26).

Jedi Christians would be mentored and would in turn disciple the next generation.

When I opened this up to callers on the Dick Staub Show after the frivolous questions, can I levitate? can I wear a cool costume?, one caller suggested a Jedi prayer: ‘For this reason, since the day we heard it, we have not ceased praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as you bear fruit in every good work and as you grow in the knowledge of God. May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light (Colossians 1:9-12).’

Throughout history, groups within the Church have established orders (The Jesuits, The Franciscans, John Wesley’s Holy Club) to counteract what Isaac Watts once called the ‘decay of vital religion in the hearts of men.’ Each played an important role in awakening their age to a fresh encounter with the living God. Each eventually itself needed reform and it appears Jesus’ call for a new wineskin is a recurring and perpetual one.

Perhaps the most frightening prospect for the establishment of an order of Jedi Christians is the absence of Yoda in my generation. Where are the wise ones a younger generation can turn to in mastering the ways of the Jedi Christian?

What I have sketched out here is an elementary starting point. I’d love to get your thoughts.

E-mail me with your comments and questions:

Posted in Staublog in May 22, 2002 by | No Comments »

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