It has literally (said like Chris Traeger from Parks and Recreation) been months since I last sat down for a marathon gaming session. I haven’t even picked up a controller in two months other than to play a little Wii fit with Alycia.
I’m having withdrawals.
I’m questioning my identity.
What kind of nerd am I if I haven’t played video games for months?
One of the staples of nerdy behavior is gaming. And not just playing Madden every August or signing onto Xbox Live to get some kills in Modern Warfare 3. Real nerdy gaming involves pouring hours and hours into fantasy worlds filled with ancient conflict and characters with unpronounceable names.
With that part of my nerd repertoire taken away, can I really consider myself a nerd?
Sure I can. Being a nerd is more than playing video games.
We all have different nerdclinations. Some people are Harry Potter Freaks. Other people still haven’t forgiven Fox for canceling Firefly. Still others fill their lives with every bit of Disney minutiae and could navigate Disneyland with their eyes closed.
When we layer our nerdclinations on top of each other, our nerdiness has more depth and scope. I can take away video games because I’ve replaced it with Doctor Who. You can take away comic book reading because you’ve replaced it with My Little Pony fanfic.
There are also a lot of layers to the Christian faith that we can add and take away and still be considered orthodox.
In our tradition we perform believer’s baptism. In my brother-in-law’s tradition they perform infant baptism.
In our tradition we take communion once a month. In my good friend’s tradition they take communion every week.
In our tradition we don’t have a bell choir ever. I don’t know anyone who still has a bell choir but I’m sure they exist.
There are layers to our faith and, as long as we believe the foundational truths about the Christian faith, those layers can change. The church has gone through too much conflict because we thought one layer was more important than another.
That’d be like Star Wars nerds fighting with Star Trek nerds over which group is truly the nerdiest. When it comes to layers in our faith, we shouldn’t create conflict with other traditions over who is the Christianiest.
Unity among the church will come when we start paying attention to the things that make us similar instead of the things that make us different. A lot of the layers of our traditions may be different, but the foundations of our faith are the same.
Below is one of those foundations, the Apostles’ Creed. Reflect on it today and rejoice that so many Christians, regardless of traditions and layers, can stand united and say the same words.
I believe in God,
the Father almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried;
he descended into hell;
on the third day he rose again from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty;
from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting. Amen.