Here is some food for thought. . .
Becky Garrison – Mystics, Satirists and the Church
We need more mystics and satirists in the church . . . as long as we understand the difference between satirizing the subject and slamming the sinner. Becky Garrison calls us to be reconcilers, here to heal the world, in her interview on ThinkFwd with host Spencer Burke. Becky is a religious satirist and author of the book, Jesus Died for This?: A Satirist’s Search for the Risen Christ.
Becky and Spencer cover the gamut of topics, starting off with a discussion about the recent push toward “anti-branding,” where people are shying away from associating with a particular movement, but gravitating to ideas they are interested in. Church movements like “emergent” or “missional.” Becky quotes Shane Claiborne saying, “When you brand a movement, you kill a movement” and Becky sees this happening in circles relating to the church.
We are coming out of the age of “experts.” The digital age has a horizontal nature. Take for example, the Internet. Everyone has access to information that used to only be available to and from experts. But now, we can all become experts without relying on a particular expert. And so what does this do? It opens new realms of questions. Church “experts” used to push their brand of Christianity, and could tell us they were the experts and we had to rely on them, conform to their expert branding. Today, Becky sees pushback on this, where change and learning are occurring through anti-branding.
People of all different faiths and those without faith seem to be on a quest for something outside of themselves. While all may not agree on faith in God, Becky sees people across all walks of life compelled by the reconciling, resurrection power of Jesus. Rather than focus on our differences, let’s find issues that we can agree on, and work together on healing the world. Becky asks, “What does it mean for us to be reconcilers? If we can redeem what Jesus redeems. . .even to the point of reaching the lowest of the low. . .then we can help make people whole, right the wrongs in our world.”
Two types of people Becky thinks the church is greatly lacking: mystics who give us hope, and satirists who keep us grounded and from going astray. Becky acknowledges she doesn’t always get things right. In her satire, she can sometimes go too far—from satirizing the subject to slamming the sinner. But her ultimate desire is to find common, to ground redeem, to reconcile, and in so doing . . . to heal our world.