Posts Tagged ‘world systems’

One thing I hate about churches is the congregational mentality to accept what the pastor says blindly. There’s nothing more infuriating than to see the pastor elevated in that way, as if his word on things is truth. Can I just say that it’s more biblical to examine what is being said in light of the whole of scripture than to follow like stupid sheep? In what way is it right for people who are literate and educated not to critically look at what is being preached? I have often wondered when it is right tin these situations to remain silent even when it agitates me or to risk stirring up some waters that may not even be a big thing. The moral side of me says that I know better and should say something. The coward in me thinks that they won’t really listen anyway… and that they’re too sexist to take a woman seriously. How awful is that? I know it’s true though, and it makes me really hate evangelicalism sometimes.

But though I face that tension, I still have to wonder, why do people merely accept the status quo? I will never understand it. Even when I try to be understanding and sympathetic toward it, the truth is that I don’t fully understand. I mean, I can’t imagine that they love things as they are, if indeed it isn’t an issue of inability to make change, but I have a feeling that I must be terribly mistaken about that. There are many talented and intelligent people also who choose to not do or say anything. Many times, I think that they’re perfectly content to see things as they are, even if they know the drawbacks of it. Laziness, that it’s just too much effort to rock the boat? I hope that’s not the case. Mico has suggested that he thinks it is often that people are overwhelmed by the situation and feel helpless to change it. A good possibility, and that’s understandable. Obviously, now, I’m not just restricting this critique to church practice, but I don’t think it’s a far leap away. Anyway, it’s frustrating.

But in all honestly, I have an ethical problem with passively accepting the status quo. As Christians, does Christ not call us for better? Are we not to be part of bringing his kingdom in not only a spiritual sense, but also in the political/structural/societal sense? My Christ did not just accept the things of his day. Yes, he worked within the context of his culture, but he also challenged them, brought people to a greater understanding of what Kingdom living should be. I can’t see him as ‘safe’ or as one who would advocate the sort of sterilized Christianity we see today. Did his death and resurrection not shake the world in a way that no person in history was able to do? Why do Christians not continue to live in the prophetic ministry and merely fall back into complacency? If you think that things are just fine, maybe you should really reexamine things, and if you must and if it helps you, ponder the question ‘what would Jesus about this circumstance’?

Please don’t take my criticisms without noticing that I am not blind to some of the benefits of living in such a system. There are good aspects to keep, certainly, and on a practical level, it has it’s uses. Order and whatnot for those who love order. For those who are comfortable within that system, it simply be that they do not see a need to criticize it. But to be uncritical about the system you live in comes with a price. I mean, what’s to say that we aren’t blinded to the depth of the frailties of that which we are entangled in? I guess I can’t really buy ‘That’s the way it’s done’ as a rationale. Or ‘It’s not as bad as some other ways’. While they may be true, it’s just downright unsatisfactory. What if the ‘good enough’ really isn’t good enough?

Or am I just a malcontent and a zealot? That could be it too. But I’m only that way to make up for so many people who aren’t. . . =P

Oh, and as a completely different aside, thank you Mico for always being supportive. You reaffirm for me what I already know: yes, I should look to that which is worthy of me, and yes, I am better off for the “loss.” It’s sometimes hard to see that, but knowing someone who knows and values me is special. It’s easy to lose focus on truth even when you know it to be true, and having friends to remind you of it is a blessing.

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