Monday, May 10, 2010

#152-Holy Ghost Bumper Cars/Ring of Safety

Preface: I hope this needn't be said, but in the following post I am in no way attacking the move of the Holy Ghost. I am in love with our emphasis on the revelation of Spirit in our denomination and the promotion of the experience of having a direct personal encounter with God. I pray we never shy away from it no matter how uncomfortable it may make some of us. That said, what is commented on in this post is the cultural occurrence that is seen in many of churches on how people tend to act out what they feel inside when they "get it."

In many a service, there comes a moment or two, or ten in which a few or perhaps many within the congregation parade themselves up to the altar either at the call of the Holy Ghost or at the expectation for something to happen once at the altar. It is in these moments that many occurances are to be expected, much of which is dependent on the style of music being played. If the song is fast expect jumping, running, and dancing. If the music a bit on the slower side expect mannerisms of submission and humility such as tears and knees bowed low. All this becomes a part of something I call Altar anthropology. Altar anthropology and the culture it creates has a life of it's own (e.g. the gang prayercovering ladies legs who are slain in the spirit, or the altar hierarchy) and this post seeks to dissect another portion of it...

In short, the portion under the spotlight here is based on the tendency towards slightly controlled chaos at the altar amidst dance. Most of the dancing is acted out by the female gender, but that is not to say the male is above such practice, but rather that it is more rare of a sight.

So when a saint starts really "getting it" at the altar, the church knows the service has break out potential. But what is more of interest to me is the actions that usually result when a women starts really getting it. First, if she goes unprotected (more on that below), she is like a bull in a china shop. Her heart is so near to God at this point that the material universe becomes an after thought and it is at this point that we get Holy Ghost bumper cars...where collisions may inevitably happen should not other brothers and saints of the Lord aid the one who is really "getting it." Most dangerous to the Holy Ghost bumper car action is if one starts "getting it" and there is another saint nearby who is slain in the spirit. This becomes that much more urgent of a scenario should the one "getting it" have high heels on.

But alas, the HG bumper cars are usually just a threat and nothing more, because we have a very organized institution built around the very action of someone "getting it" at the altar. This is where we bring in the next topic on this post: the "Ring of Safety" aka The Holy Ghost flotation device.

The Ring of the safety has usually 2-3 women aiding the female who is "getting it." Their first goal is to continue to encourage the worship of the one "getting it." But secondarily, and almost equally important is the task of the ring of safety to secure a "safe zone" whereby the woman "getting it" can move about freely at the altar within the determined perimeters set for her by the ring of safety volunteers. Should the women "getting it" wander off to a border region of the ring of safety, she will be gently aided back into the central region of the ring of safety.

 It is here that the ring of safety acts as the Holy Ghost flotation device for within a flotation device one can freely move about the waters with passionate curiosity and awe without fear of succumbing to the tide or gravitational pull of the waters. Likewise the women who finds herself in a "ring of safety" is free to move about the region with passionate curiosity and awe and not have to worry about possible harm to fellow altar seekers nearby. 

It is here a 3:1 ratio can be found within our altars of women getting it. As for every one lady "getting it" there are 2 women sacrificing their altar time for the safety of one women to get the HG.

Sidenote: Completely off topic, but I realized after the scandal of the HMH post that people are not getting to see a whole other side of me, in consideration of what the material of SAL covers and it's limitations in content. Only so much personality can come across in blog. So I am offering an opportunity for a little window of my theology in a less satirical, but more positive light.

That said, if anyone's interested I naively wrote a book of sorts in the second half of 2008. It's kind of auto-biographical and kind of trying to my best C.S. Lewis impression (which I failed horribly). And after rereading some brief sections I find that I even disagree with a few things I wrote (nothing that controversial, but rather a shift in my theology at parts). Let me emphasize, the book is nothing like what you read on SAL. So please do not expect a repeat of the content you see here.

 I think I did the necessary stuff for copyrighting, but that said I would obviously ask that the book be used for personal use, and not for financial gain, and should you choose a heist of sorts, please take all profits and give it to the poor. Also, the book only went through 1.5 edits meaning it's going to be rough at points and also with more than a few errors. 

Click here for a link to the file  (You can read it  entirely on the site or you can click the "download" button on the top right hand corner once at the site)

Should anyone actually read the book I am very curious to hear your thoughts (critiques, criticisms, and complements). 

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