Hacking Christianity

God gets glory from concealing things;
kings get glory from investigating things.

Pro 25:2

Hackers are a phenomenon of our time, we think. We define hackers as people that with malicious intent break into computer systems.

Let me correct something here as a former computer programmer and software architect. Hackers are people that are really good at something. Crackers are the ones that want to break things.

But, with a sad eye, I will follow the common incorrect use of the word in this article.

There are two kind of hackers: black hats and white hats.

You might never have heard of the distinction, so here some definitions:

Black hats are the ones that crack systems for personal gain, pure fun, or with said malicious intent.

White hats are hackers that want to contribute to make systems more bullet proof and sound. We might call them extreme software testers, mostly under the aspect of security.

Both need to think in ways that the developers have not thought about to break into systems. That is, they think differently, outside of the box, or better, as if there were no box.

They profoundly know the protocols and technologies that drive those systems. But they look at them with different eyes. They go to the core, and where ever possible, to the code. Sometimes they even do human engineering and find out how the person thinks that came up with the system – or uses it.

What does this have to do with Christianity?

Most people are users of Christianity. They get served their interfaces – services, prayer both personal and corporate, reading the bible, worship, pastoral care, and doctrine. And that is all they do. It suffices for them to belong and copy&paste.

Modernity has given us many black hats. They try to crack Christianity to proof it wrong and superfluous. Some of them profoundly know the theology, that is the system. Some have tried to do some engineering of the creator of the system, but usually have not progressed further than man made implementations of the divine software architecture.

But what about white hats? We had a few of those during the lifetime of the church. Think of the desert fathers, Luther, Zwingli and the other reformers, and some more like the people behind the healing movement, pentecostal and charismatic revival, latter rain, and the restitution of the fivefold ministry.

Most of them have hacked the interpretation of the Bible of their time and enhanced the system for greater insight. They have brought back or shown for the first time things hidden by God and therefore executed on our verse of the day.

Today’s Christianity is torn into so many pieces that we usually do not hack the system because we are busy defending our own special little implementation.

Do we baptise by sprinkling or dunking children or grown-ups? Is the Spirit brought on us by laying on of hands or intense prayer? Do we leave this earth before, during, or after tribulation, or is tribulation even a thing?

This sounds to me like programmers fighting for their pet algorithm, programming language, operating system, editor, commenting style, and whether it even makes even sense to implement what the user and the software architect have designed.

Most of the time, we do not even defend our own ideas, but the ideas that have been handed to us, streamlined by denominations, bible schools, books, and preachings.

We need hackers again. Hackers that dare to break the implementations, the interpretations, our beloved doctrines, not to proof them wrong and therefore destroy faith, but to deepen our understanding of the one that gave us scripture, gave us creation, gave us his son.

I know that in millions of programmers there are maybe thousands of hackers. They are few.

I know that in billions of Christians, they are even fewer.

It is time to break open the boxes we have built and look at the system as if there was no box.

Maybe it would help some to learn about hackers. Learn how they think.

God is so much bigger and different than we are in our current state of humanity and consciousness, yet he calls us his children.

Children learn how to live and behave, how to search and research, how to work and be, how to function as adults. But they also learn how to create their environment and their future. It is at times painful growth for years with major changes in all components, including body, abilities, desires, responsibilities, and ways of thinking – just to name a few.

And we usually believe that we have attained the doctrinal system within which we are to converge towards the common image of a good Christian. We think that it did not change for the last 2000 years.

God wants to have eternal counterparts in us. He is too loving and too mature to just build a crowd to worship him. That would be immature narcissism. He wants to share what He has: perfect abundant life, all-inclusive love, unbreakable relationship in perfect harmony, endless creativity – again, just to name a few.

That means that His goal for us is to be like Him. We have a long way to go, but He sat us on a trajectory from baby gods to oneness with Him.

We tend to settle for much less. Yes, we acknowledge that when he comes, He will add the rest to our metamorphosis, and that we are limited to pursue it here. Which is correct. But still we have a responsibility to go further up and deeper into. We are pioneers. We have to hack the system, crack open the box, destroy it where possible to see the next step in our evolution towards becoming God.

Because what we humbly call becoming one with God is synonymous to becoming God. Part of the trinity. Jesus is all God, but not God alone. Neither is the Father or the Spirit, and neither will we be. I do not want to replace God with man, but place man in God.

A place we always had, but were not conscious of. A place we discover, investigate, grow into, and become.

Everything is through Him, who is called the word, Christ. He holds together all things, He is in all things. We are in Him, whether we know it or not, as much as He is in us. We are not only made by Him or through Him, as if He were a tool or a means, He is the very fabric of everything.

This is the secret that Paul wanted to tell us: Christ in us and we in Him. Oneness. We truly are the image of God. We are – there is nothing to become but to become aware.

Let’s hack the system. Let’s look at our interpretations, implementations, doctrinal systems, systems of right and wrong, outgrow them towards what already is.

There is a field beyond right or wrong. There we will meet.

As the hacker Cereal Killer puts it in the 1995 movie Hackers: Hack the Planet.