Thursday, October 6, 2011

Geeky Divisions in the Christian Church

You'd think that geeks are a monolithic entity (insert 2001 joke here), but we're not. Just because we're geeks doesn't mean we all think the same, believe the same, or even all get along. The same holds true for Christians. True, we all believe that Jesus was the Son of God, but after that we start to faction, and we've been doing so since day 41.

Perhaps the biggest split in the Christian church is between Protestants and Catholics. For geeks, it's Star Trek versus Star Wars. Each side has its share of atrocities (Jar Jar Binks and Star Trek: Voyager) but each side has done good in the world as well. (Empire Strikes Back and Wrath of Khan) The divisions between fan-bases can be stiff, with each side declaring that their science fiction geeky passion is the one true geek pathway.

Seriously. Go online and find a Star Trek versus Star Wars argument in any online forum, and it's like they're arguing about religion.

Ah, but you can't forget the Greek Orthodox, now can you? For geeks, that would be Tolkien, Fantasy, and Dungeons and Dragons. In many ways, these are the more traditional geeks, enjoying tropes that go back hundreds, if not thousands of years. While the science fiction genres are about progressing to the future, this version of geek prefers the past. With dragons.

What's Firefly you ask? Jonestown. (Hey, as much as I love Joss Whedon's work, getting attached to any show of his is pretty much a suicide pact.)

The reason Christianity and Geekdom have factions is one and the same: we're all human. We all have different perspectives, different life experiences, and more to the point, different needs. Some people need to follow God through the Catholic Church, others need to be Baptist or Lutheran. In the same way, some geeks identify with Spock, while others elevate Frodo. Perhaps it's Battlestar Galactica that floats your boat, or you just need to hang out on a space station, be it Deep Space Nine or Babylon 5. (I wouldn't recommend 1-4, trust me.)

I'm all right with divisions in the church, so long as we divide the right way. When we can agree on the core of the message, that Jesus died for our sins, loves everyone, and we should do the same, then minor differences, such as how we baptize or use music in worship, just aren't that big a deal. Our differences can make us stronger if we put our egos aside and let them. Otherwise we're just going to have pointless arguments that solve nothing and make us look like anti-social dweebs.

And I, for one, want our faith to move out of our mother's basement.

If you want to see more of my geekiness, check out Guardians of Suncast Dale, a satirical fantasy adventure on Nook and Kindle. My Christian Scripts also approach faith from a clearly geeky angle. (Both acute and obtuse.)

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