It seems these days people are Occupying practically everything. Cities around America -- and across the world -- are taking to their makeshift camp sites and rallying to push for a more equitable world (though some feel the protesters haven't really outlined how they plan to accomplish this feat). And now, joining in on these efforts are some Christians who want nothing more than to "Occupy the Altar."
But before you make any assumptions, it should be noted that this movement is a bit different. Rather than blaming Wall Street for America's financial woes, adherents to this new-found, Jesus-centric rallying cry believe that the nation's issues are more spiritual than they are financial.
Take, for instance, John Stefanski. He's encouraging people to come together and to turn to prayer. “Let’s pray to the Lord for our problems,” he says. "Society is in the bind that it is because we got away from ‘one nation under God.'"
See, Stefanski, a small business owner from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, wants to get his new movement -- Occupy the Altar -- off the ground embraced by Christian communities. Rather than camping out in the town square in support of Occupy Nashville (which he claims he's not against), he's hoping to encourage churchgoers to rally in downtown Nashville in an effort to seek God's help in solving the U.S. economic crisis.
So far, though, Stefanski's movement only has two members: Himself and his friend, Tyler Parcha. This week, the pair has spent hours down at Nashville's Legislative Plaza (where Occupy Nashville protesters are also converging), holding up signs that tout various Bible verses, along with the words "Occupy the Altar."
One sign references Romans 12:1-2, which reads, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy...do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
When asked how he got the idea for the new Occupy offshoot, he said that coverage of the Occupy Nashville protests drove his interest. “I’ve been watching the TV and seeing all the people talking about all occupy this and occupy that,” Stefanski said. “I had a strong conviction from the Lord that we need to come together as a country and occupy the altar.”
Now, the only question that remains is: Will more Christians join him?
Update: Occupy the Altar has a web site, t-shirts -- and plenty more here.
(H/T: The Tennessean)