Saturday, May 23, 2009

Stockholm Syndrome

So recently, if you or any friends are even remote fans of Derek Webb, you've heard about his either legitimate or gimmick-rich or somewhere-in-between-those-two news of how scandalous his newest album is/will be. His album entitled "Stockholm Syndrome".

Is it thematic? Is it a cuss word? Is it much larger than that? Is it really just a bunch of hype around some sort of hidden treasure hunt to give his fans an experience of subversion that goes beyond simply buying something? No clue.

In all actuality, I hadn't thought much about it. Until a cheesy Christian fiction book I was reading (yup....I still read Dekker...every book...I'm an addict) mentioned "Stockholm Syndrome".

There was a girl who was kidnapped by a psychopathic killer, and he had her locked up in a world where he was in charge. In order to gain any hope for survival, she knew she had to play by his rules. She had to think according to the "order of things" in this world he had created for her. As she began to think in this way, she began to gain an appreciation for how he responded to things. She began to empathize with him. Given enough time, being broken mentally and emotionally, she even began to side with him in some ways. This is what is commonly referred to as "Stockholm Syndrome". When someone taken captive or being oppressed begins to bond with, side with, and even show loyalty in many ways to those who have taken them.

So where might Webb be going with this? Not sure. But it does bring up some interesting thoughts. How often do we experience enough empathy towards someone (or group of someones), whether the Church or very much against the Church.....simply because we try to exist in the world they've created for us?

On the other hand....God is/has created a new order of everything for us also. It is our goal as Christians and as His Church to learn/practice the language and lifestyle of that new existence, and to proclaim it....but not in a way that takes captive and manipulates. Rather, in a way that truly sets captives free. May we be proclaiming and living THAT kind of good news....

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