Power of Paradox:: Sacred or Secular

August 1, 2017

After my high school graduation we had a grad night party put on by the PTA. 

It was this huge ordeal with a yacht facade over the front of our gym and boarding passes to get inside. They auctioned off a car, had games galore and endless supplies of food and soda. It was an all-night affair and one of the highlights was when they brought up a hypnotist. 

Now, normally you don't even need to get me in some sort of altered state to get in front of my classmates and bark like a dog, but this time it definitely helped. It was a goofy kind of fun that we talked about many times afterward. 

I can still remembering recounting this experience with some Christian friends that summer and they weren't laughing. 

"You were hypnotized? You shouldn't have done that. You were letting another power or force take control of your body." 
"The devil."

This confused me. I didn't know that anti-grad-night-hypnotism was a thing. Not only was it a thing for these friends, but it was a violation of my faith. 

They were operating within a world where every behavior, piece of media you take in and thought process fell neatly into one of two categories. 

Sacred or secular.
Things were either of God or the devil.
Divine or disgusting. 

I explained that it was just a goofy joke and while more open to odd suggestions, I never felt out of control. 

"That's how it starts. How could you be so naive to assume that this wasn't dangerous Your thinking it was just a joke made it the perfect vehicle for Satan."

Harry Potter? Witchcraft and sorcery.
Red Starbucks Cups? Denial of the birth of Jesus. 
Fidget Spinners? Creates idle hands, WHICH ARE THE DEVIL'S PLAYGROUND.

Now, there are certainly things in our world that seem fun or safe enough and promote a lot of harm internally and externally. This isn't a conversation about calling all things good. This is a conversation about not trying to have correct labels but to simply experience where God is working, moving and calling us forward. It may not be in places we've previously labeled as sacred or secular. 

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