Jedi Church Brings a Bit of Shame to the Christian World

No, I’m not making this up.  Yes, there is an actual Jedi church based on the fictional Star Wars characters.  The part of this goofiness I find to be interesting is that this organization seems to invoke more devotion in its followers than many of today’s modern professing Christians.  How so?  Well, below is a five-part summary (as published by The Telegraph) of what it takes to join the Jedi church and a few comments about each one:

  1. Joining the Church of Jediism involves signing up to the group’s online newsletter and completing a ten-part training course.  How many modern American or western churches have membership classes anymore?  How many take the time (ten whole classes) to explain what membership gives and demands?  Does your church go through such lengths, and if they did, would you have the devotion and willingness to attend ten classes?
  2. Jedis believe in the Force, “a unifying energy, which everything exists within, around and always returns to.”  So the Jedi church feels they must unify around doctrine, that is, beliefs.  Most modern churches avoid the idea of doctrine in both teaching and words.  Rick Warren’s teaching of “deeds not creeds” as what defines a church is the popular view.  Am I the only one that finds ignoring the teachings about what we believe to be at odds with something defined as a belief system?
  3. They do not believe the Star Wars films to be real. The church says: “Although Jediism was inspired by the beliefs of the fictional Jedi, we do not believe the Star Wars films – they are entirely fictional.” Whew!  So they are spiritualists not mentally deranged!  That’s good, I suppose.  I wonder what would happen in the Jedi church if one of their teachers started questioning the truthfulness of that belief the way many teachers in the Christian world question the Bible?  Rob Bell insinuates the Bible is fictional and errant fairly often and Christians flock to his teachings.  Would questioning the fictionality of the Star Wars saga get a wayward Jedi teacher escorted to the door?  I’ll bet it would! 
  4. Meditation is a key tenet of Jediism. The church says: “Our minds are like sponges, which soak up information daily. In order to keep our minds ‘clean’, we must ‘rinse’ them of negative Force.” I can’t contrast this one much.  Jedi’s are adopting the same Eastern religious practices that many, many Christians have recently adopted.  Meditation, contemplative prayer, centering prayer and other forms of mysticism that are directly opposite of what we see in Scripture are now commonplace in the Christian culture.  Kind of makes you wonder what people are thinking when a Christian’s prayer practice is an exact replica of that performed by Hindus and Jedi.
  5. A belief in God is optional. The group says: “There are no strict rules in Jediism, as we believe in freedom and so joining the Church of Jediism would not pose any restrictions on your life.” Surely there is no commonality on this one!  Today’s Christians all profess a belief in God and believe the moral laws of God to necessarily impose restrictions. Of course, true beliefs are always (always, always, always) exhibited by our words and actions and so I can’t help but wonder what the words and actions of many of today’s Christian might prove?  Are six days of the week given to the pursuit of self-designed dreams with just 2 hours of day seven being the only time prayer, Scripture and piety are involved?  Call me silly, but those actions don’t sound much like the evidence of true belief!  We must all, myself included, examine what our words and actions say of our beliefs (including our beliefs of biblical lifestyle restrictions).

Last but not least, The Telegraph goes on to share a bit of interesting trivia.  It seems that the Jedi church isn’t afraid to exercise church-discipline.  We learn in this article that “Members are allowed to wear robes, but Mr Jones was ejected from a Tesco, in Bangor, in 2009, for refusing to pull down his hood.”  So, Jedi will kick someone out of their church for blatant sin (it seems raised hoods are a sin in the Jedi world) while it cannot be said by any reasonable person that ex-communication is ever even considered by the vast majority of modern Christian churches despite the Biblical mandate to carry it out.  And in my opinion that is quite possibly the saddest indictment of all, that Jedi’s are more passionate about the purity and faithfulness of their church than the modern Christian.  The devotion illustrated in much of this article in describing Jedi beliefs and practices, as whimsical as they are, actually brings a bit of shame to a Christian world that professes their beliefs with the utmost sincerity.

To be clear, I’m not suggesting that we as Christians buckle-down and live and worship as Scripture teaches.  Well, I am, but not without first examining if we are true believers at all.  If in examining our lives we come to suspect that we are straying then we must recognize this and come to God in repentance of our sins and the trust our saviors death will pay the fine that we deserve.  Repentance and belief, those are the first tenets of the true faith.  Let’s hold to them with devotion!  In Star Wars, one of the roles of the Jedi is that of teacher.  Is it possible that maybe we as Christians really can learn something from these ones?

 

 

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3 Comments on “Jedi Church Brings a Bit of Shame to the Christian World”

  1. John Henry Phelan Says:

    The UK Church of Jediism is a for profit venture owned by Daniel Jones. Anyone who signs up for a newsletter is counted as a member even if they never do anything else as far as participation goes. Their Facebook group shows barely over 2,000 members (as of February 7, 2016) so the hundreds of thousands of members they claim are imaginary. The hood incident was a publicity stunt. They charge money for training just like Scientology. Their ministers handbook says there is a mandatory donation reguired to attend a service. There is a real Jedi Church founded years earlier and it is a recognized Public Charity by the United States. http://TempleOfTheJediOrder.org . There’s also the older http://JediChurch.org .

    Reply

  2. ingrid Says:

    The Church i go to does have membership classes and it teaches right from the Bible.

    Reply

    • ChurchSalt Says:

      Hi Ingrid,
      It seems so common that membership is minimized and classes before membership even more so. Glad to hear your church does this. Hope you have a great day!
      -joe

      Reply

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