A New Year of Binge Eating, Great Music and the “Ekklesia”

Here’s three random musings from the year of 2011 thus far:

1.  My New Year’s diet was going along swimmingly until yesterday evening. My breakfast was low sugar oatmeal, an egg and water and no coffee. My lunch was an apple pecan salad with pomegranate dressing and plain grilled chicken sandwich. When dinner came around my stomach was racked with hunger pains and my head felt like it was being stabbed by an icepick (from the coffee withdrawals). After deliberation with my wife, I succumbed to CiCi’s and personally ate about 27 pizzas of astounding variety, a couple cinnamon rolls, and a brownie. I also started with a water but ended with a Pepsi. I only vaguely remember the meal now, for it was a warm gooey whirlwind of parmesan cheese, pineapple, barbecue and italian sausage.

Hello, my name is Bryan. And I am a binge eater.

On a positive note, the night did produce one crowning achievement for me. After the copious amounts of pizza and Pepsi intake I unleashed a burp that lasted for literally 14 seconds. It was a deep and guttural explosion of sorts. My wife said it made her want to both “cry and puke” at the same time. Awesome. 

2.  The word “church” in Scripture is “Ekklesia” in Greek. Now I am not a Greek scholar but it is a word with some far-reaching and striking implications. Ekklesia means literally “called out” or “called out to assembly”, which is exactly what every Christian is through Christ (1 Peter 2:9). The historical context of the word is also compelling.  Before the word had a theological meaning for the church it had a political meaning for ancient Greece:  

When the Greek city states found their governments had become too corrupt and oppressive, they would call for an ekklesia, an assembly outside the civil authority of the city. If enough people came out and refused to accept the existing centralized civil authority, that government would collapse. Non participation has been a successful and peaceful means to free mankind from oppressive civil authority throughout history.

 So when we are “called out” by Christ to join His church, we are being called to an assembly with ruling power and real authority. When sin and Satan have oppressed a city the “called out” are then called to use their weapons of the word, prayer and fasting. MUCH MORE could be said on this subject but I am too lazy to expand on it any further here; alas, you should do your own study on “Ekklesia.”

3.  I’m gaining a newfound respect for the musical talent of John Mark MacMillian. His voice is very rich, unique and a bit raw, but I would challenge anyone to find a better songwriter in the Christian music scene. The general levity of the CCM scene with its laments over “torn jeans” and vaguely Christian pop lyrics is a bit sickening. Macmillian’s song, “Death in His Grave,” has some of the most poetic and biblical lyrics I’ve heard put to music.  His song “How He Loves” (remade by the David Crowder Band) is both anthemic and worshipful. The story behind the lyrics is a touching reminder of redemption in tragedy.

It may be time we get out of the cultural Christian mainstream and find some of the unearthed gems giving a creative and authentic voice for the Lord.

Bryan Daniels

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