A Theology of Friendship: Subversive (Part 4)

Part 4 | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Originally written in 2000 after the comedy “Friends” became a hit and before “friendzone” became a thing.  Like, A Theology of Eating, I think that this too, needs to be brought to the front. With a little rewrite and tweak, this may be…um…subversive.  Insert winky emoticon here.

Some may be afraid of change.

And friendship with God changes a lot of things.  Good things--I might add.  Things can go shallow, trivial, personal and fun.  Like prayer—praying to God your friend can get interesting: you can now go off tangent and skip the Christianese pleasantries (“Father God, I come before your presence—show me your face—make your presence known—cleanse me as I confess my unconfessed sins—fill me with your Spirit—blah…) and go straight to the heart of the matter (“God—help—I’m screwed—my grades sucks—my mom will be on my case again—she’ll ground me and cut my allowance—and there’s this concert and a chance to date this hot girl!).

Some may be afraid of change.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.  He’s still your boss—but are you in the board room or in the sports bar?  And remember the Boss we are talking about likes to spend more time in the sports bar than in board room (A Theology of Eating).  There is a time for everything.  Speaking of which, we all know that God takes his time.  Like he’s over two thousand years late ever since he last said “I am coming soon” (Revelations 22 something).  Not a biggie: we’re Filipinos we all know what we mean when we say “nandyan na ako”. 😉

Friendship with God allows you to do things that is a total waste of time…or money simply because it is fun.  This whole deal about “work for the night is near” is a myth to guilt trip us into doing church stuff.  God is not in a hurry and neither am I.

Some may be afraid of change.

There is this other thing it changes: our relationship with others.  If we are strictly operating as servants to the Lord, how does that in turn affect the way we treat others?

These days, if you are anywhere near a church, what you would hear is about submitting to pastors, leaders, or disciplers.  You hear of stuff like submitting to God’s will.  Like how to you know God’s will?  Through God’s anointed: your pastor or your leader.  Weh?  The strange thing is that we screw ourselves by giving these so-called human leaders the authority to speak in behalf of God and sometimes you cannot even ask "why?": you do not question God's anointed.

But Jesus (“very God of very God”—Nicene Creed) wants to be your friend and he wants you in the Father's business.

Martin Luther is turning in his grave.  Wasn't the whole deal of the Reformation about the priesthood of all believers because proclamation of God's word was not the sole property of the Roman Catholic priest?  So why we now assigning that same stature to many of our megachurch pastors today?

Could this be the reason why we do not have a formal study or a theology of friendship?  Is there a conspiracy in the soul of humanity that wants to maintain the way things are where someone is dominant and is lording it over someone else?

Some may be afraid of change.

What these poses for us is not ministry but intimacy.  It is not about obedience but love.  We always have been taught to be servants and obey the bible as if it was an operating manual or our job description.  The invitation to us is not to more work but to a deeper relationship.  We begin at the heart of God—not the need of the broken world or the orders given by and to other people (even if it was in the bible).  We do not react to the things around us but off our malasakit to the sacred heart of God.  You find that only in intimacy not ministry.  Isn’t that what we were saying all along?

“Not religion, but a relationship?”