Co je to?
Pioneer Not Settler

‘...scare the hell out of the settlers...’

As a child growing up I fed myself on a diet of westerns. Those were the days when the hero’s were cowboys not starship captains. When adventure was horse and wagon train crossing open prairie. When a galaxy was just a chocolate bar and star wars was a headline in the press describing the latest celebrity divorce in Hollywood! Yet, out of those western ideologies a picture can be drawn which reveals the challenge of Christianity. Welcome to “western” theology AKA the Rock!

Is the church supposed to appear like the courthouse in the centre of town, a monument to judgment which it relishes to pass on everybody and everything? Or is it supposed to be like the covered wagon which, though it creaks, is scarred with arrows and bound together with bailing wire, is always moving towards the future, never stopping to glorify its own ruts?

Is God supposed to appear like the mayor with his office on an upper floor of the courthouse always looking diligently through shuttered blinds for those who disturb the peace of the town? Or, is he supposed to be seen as the trail boss, rugged and full of life, chewing tobacco and drinking straight whiskey, often getting down in the mud with the pioneers to help push the wagon (which often gets stuck!)?

Is Jesus supposed to appear like the sheriff, the guy sent by the mayor to enforce the rules, the one who holds the keys to the jail? Or, is he supposed to be like the scout who, suffering all the hardships and dangers of the trail, is always out ahead showing the way the pioneers should go, being the living expression through his words and actions of the true intentions of the trail boss, the one to watch if you want to learn what it means to be a pioneer?

Is the Holy Spirit supposed to appear like the saloon girl, there to comfort the settlers when they feel lonely or when life gets dull or dangerous, tickling them under the chin and making everything ok again, (squealing to the sheriff when someone starts disturbing the peace!)? Or, is he supposed to appear like the buffalo hunter, riding along with the covered wagon furnishing fresh meat for the pioneers, sort of a wild man, unpredictable to all but the trail boss and the scout, who loves to ride into town on Sunday mornings to fire his gun into the courthouse and scare the hell out of the settlers, who, without what he provides, the settlers would probably die on the trail?

Is the Christian supposed to appear like the settler who fears the open frontier, doesn’t want anyone disturbing the peace, who’s primary concern is staying on good terms with the mayor, enforcing the rules by serving as a deputy sheriff and never missing the ice cream party held in the courthouse every Sunday? Or, is he/she supposed to be the pioneer, a man/woman of daring, hungry for new life, one who rides hard driven by passion fuelled by purpose, an explorer, a discoverer, a mover, a shaker, a world changer, one who dies with his/her boots on?