“Fight Club” is a great training video for simple churches because:
It reveals so much about our culture.
I love the IKEA sequence early in the movie where Ed Norton’s character describes buying the latest stuff from the Swedish furniture giant to fill out his swanky apartment. It showed the avarice of the late ’90’s spend-like-there’s-no-tomorrow credit culture. Ten years later, it’s still true. I don’t care what the economists say–yes, the economy is still in the toilet, but people are still buying a bunch of stuff they don’t need (all of us are guilty). Part of the reason Ed Norton starts to develop his alter ego, Tyler Durden, is that he’s tired of being defined by his stuff.
Our culture is also apathetic. Yes, we’re inundated all the time with the plight of the poor throughout the world (and we should be made aware). Here’s the thing–many people, if they do anything, will cut a check to some agency or their church to support someone “over there” and think they’ve done their part. Yes, we need to be generous with our money, but we also need to be generous with our very selves. We may give a few bucks to the homeless person on the corner, but do we know their name? Do we give our change to numb our consciences? Sometimes, I think we do.
I love the scene where Tyler Durden goes into the market and drags out Raymond K. Hessel, and at gun point, makes Raymond face his own apathy. After it’s over, Brad Pitt says, “Tomorrow will be the most beautiful day of Raymond K. Hessel’s life. His breakfast will taste better than any meal you and I have ever tasted. ” Shocked out of apathy into action. So many people need that. So many Christians need that.
“Fight Club” reveals our culture’s avarice and apathy. But it also reveals something else, something specific to simple churches. More on that tomorrow.