Thursday, August 03, 2006

Social Justice, Useless Morality and the Conquest Therein
Christians. A sea of boiling masses, formed with much zeal from their beginnings,
eager to overflow on up out of the banks of containment and lay to waste all
living things opposing their opinions. Why does it have to be this way? Why must
most North American Christians go through a 'second conversion' experience
to see all the living things they killed with their opinion-angled truths in the
early days? Why do some people never have a second conversion and stay
ignorant? Why does Donald Miller have to write books about the jack-assery
of Christians and set up a booth, on a very socialist/left-wing college campus,
and personally apologize to people for our doings? Why do we speak in a
language that only an elect group understand while the outsiders shrug their
shoulders at the foreign dialect?

The real guts of the issue lie in this question: Who do we blame- The church
or just our dumb-ass human selves? I think that, for whatever reason, North
America, from its very un-humble beginnings, positioned its citizens into a
Culture that bred fear that can be seen in a few key bullet points.
1. Fear the enemy.
2. Fear the stranger/outsider.
3. Fear any opposition.
Even from the foundings of this landmass we stand upon, there is massive
controversy (you can read about it in Wikipedia) about Christopher
Colombus and whether he truly was a hero or a monster. To this day,
Americans praise the Italian discoverer's exploits as patriotic (i.e. Columbus
Day, Columbus, OHIO, etc.) but even Columbus' own diary arguably
seals his own fate as he knowingly engaged is such heinous acts as mass
genocide and slave trading. Columbus saw his opportunity upon
encountering Early Native Americans, but instead of working with them
to better the land and resources and future opportunities for both parties,
he saw the foreigners as dangerous and slaughtered them.This is an
attitude passed down to us from the beginnings of our landmass - fear the

To Christians, at least the North American variety, the foreigner or space
of the other is inhabited by the 'sinner' who needs forgiveness but does
not know it. Though anyone who clearly understands scripture as a
whole knows that we are all in need of redemption at the core of our
being, this is something that can only be decided and understood on a
personal level, or, on a 'heart' level - a place where no man really has
the eyes to see. Even though many argue that outward action reflects
the happenings of the heart, I disagree. I disagree because...people
are stupid, intimidated, jealous, anxious beings who don't really know
HOW to act and guage their actions mostly upon the measuring stick of
their peers or where they seek acceptance. One's heart may be utterly
frayed and busted up while their outward appearance reflects happiness,
contentment and sheer joy to everyone who views them.

When Jesus met with the woman at the well, before He made any pre-
dispositions about her situation (which he knew already, for obvious reasons),
he listened. He met her, eye to eye, and heard her speak rude, insolent
words: The Samaritan woman said to him, "You are a Jew and I am a
Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?" (John 4:9). In that era,
any woman speaking to a man in this nature, or in an 'out of turn' fashion,
would have been due for discipline of some kind, most likely physical. If
anyone had the right to discipline this crazy, multi-partnered, loud woman
for her nefarious actions, it was Jesus. But He didn't. He took the high road -
addressed her and accepted her for who she was, and then spoke to her
situation with grace, encouraging her to go back and make things right in her life.

This must always serve as a constant reminder when we approach the space
of the 'other', or, for the purposes of this journal, the foreigner. If the One
whom we claim to have relationship with, love and follow reacted with only
acceptance, grace and constructive encouragement to the foreigner - then
who the hell are WE to form opinions about people because of their
outward appearance and actions. The work of the Spirit happens on a level
that we are almost completely blind to - no one but Jesus truly knows what
a person has uttered in private, inside his head or cried out in search of
substance. As I once heard Bill Hybels say to a conference of over-eager
teens, "As Christians, our job is not behaviour modification, but to be carriers
of the Spirit of transformation". (Amen, Bill. I've heard many people rip you
off since then and not cite your words properly, but at least the intent is there.)

We are to be conductors - glowing arrows pointing to the source of our
light that gives people hope - not picketing, argumentative and haggling with
people in useless moral battles of no consequence. We must never let morality
replace spirituality but I fear it has been already sort of happening for a while now.
Fight the good fight friends - let the foreigner into your living room instead of

locking him out, and like my friend Jared once wisely said "Get down on the
floors, on your hands and knees, and scrub with people in their problems" and
then, just maybe, they'll be interested in just What makes you the way you are.
Let's stop the moral warring - it goes nowhere and it's not what we're here to


Ephesians 6:12
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the
authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces
of evil in the heavenly realms.

website statistics