At the time, we had a good laugh about that. We knew that a group of country boys from Oklahoma held no threat of danger at all to the Armenian people. We were simply singing songs, enjoying the atmosphere, and enjoying the people. We had great fun! And the food- oh, my…. being dangerous to the people of Armenia was never a thought in our minds.
After having some time to reflect on that trip, I no longer think that being called dangerous is humorous. Actually, I am a little embarrassed now. Think about it- in that remote country, western culture is still strong, along with a prevailing European influence. There, I am dangerous- dangerous as in representing a spiritual authority that challenges the local high priests and religious traditions. Here, I am successful. I am comfortable. I am one of the priests and part of the religious tradition. But I am not dangerous.
What’s wrong with this picture? Yes, our religious liberties are much more open and free in our American culture than Armenia. Our traditions of religious freedom and the core beliefs of those freedoms go back to the founding of this nation. It is easy to serve a church in our culture. I get all that. But I am no longer comfortable with the idea that our American culture has all the practical and spiritual answers for existing in and influencing a spiritual culture. In fact, we are becoming more like Eastern European cultures that give influence to the “c”hurch, without giving enough concern to the “C”hurch.
My concern is this- what am I doing to make me spiritually dangerous in this religious culture?I don’t think anyone would consider me to have any impact at all on the spiritual culture in America, Oklahoma, Tulsa, or even this church. The bother of that leads me to some questions:
1) Should the religious culture be challenged to the point that I become known as dangerous?
2) To whom should I be a danger?
3) To whom should I not be a danger?
4) What amount of risk am I willing to take in becoming dangerous?
5) What are the consequences of becoming spiritually dangerous?
6) What are the benefits of becoming spiritually dangerous?
7) What does a spiritually dangerous person look like?
All questions to ponder and pray over while seeking guidance from the scriptures. I don’t want to be an “also-ran” Christian…. I want to be dangerous!