Thursday, January 31, 2008

It's getting late and I'm getting agitated...

Brittany and I normally lay in bed at night watching reality police shows. That way, I fall asleep at a reasonable hour. But I don't have to get up early on Fridays. So, its Thursday and I stay up while she goes to bed. Its a time I generally spend reading or working on digital music. Tonight, I've been reading a bunch of other people's blogs.

I don't think its any secret that I'm not scared of stirring up a little trouble every now and then. I remain true to myself as often as I possibly can. I say what's on my mind, even if I have to go back later and explain myself or apologize. I admit that I can be rash and am able to stick my foot in my mouth. But I strive to be honest and open and willing to say what I'm really thinking. I'm open to good questions and love curiosity.

That being said, I must ask: when did all that become so bad?

I am afraid that Christianity could easily become an opiate for the masses. Just something else for people to placate themselves with. I remember many discussions on Catholicism in Europe--talking about the church had been neutered and simply blended in with the rest of culture by doing the wrong things. I fear that happening here. That we run our churches like businesses. That we would allow our brothers and sisters to attend a weekly service, perhaps donate some time or money, go on a week long mission trip every so many years... simply so they feel like they are "doing their part." That we would stress people coming to hear a practical message and forgetting its not about a practical message. Pardon the crude, masculine phrasing, but when did we lose our balls?

Change is a necessity. Change must happen. Change is bigger than a presidential campaign. Change is bigger than the amounts of our budgets or the number of attendees at our services. Change is bigger than buying a hybrid car. Change is bigger than recycling. Change is bigger than donating money. Change is bigger than being in or out.

I must change.
You must change.
We must change.

And I'm worried about those who are feeling the fresh breeze blowing through our world. "The ocean is growing, the tide is coming in, here it is..." I feel that happening. Here and now. And I know others do, too. I know there are plenty of people out there (plenty who read my words and plenty more who don't) that look at our world and our society and our churches and our communities and see that something isn't right. That we must do something about it. So they begin to shift their heads and hearts to focus on a better way. They speak out against the status quo. Maybe its not even that drastic, maybe they simply are open about the questions they have... And without fail, there is reaction. Backlash. Lack of understanding.

Its too late tonight for me to try and deal with specifics. But without hesitation, I would like to encourage everyone who is experiencing holy discontent, a dissatisfaction with the way things are, to raise your voice. Without fear. Without divisiveness. With love. With hope. Hope in a better way... hope for change.

"I am aware that many object to the severity of my language; but is there not cause for severity? I will be as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice. On this subject, I do not wish to think, or to speak, or write, with moderation. No! no! Tell a man whose house is on fire to give a moderate alarm; tell him to moderately rescue his wife from the hands of the ravisher; tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen; -- but urge me not to use moderation in a cause like the present. I am in earnest -- I will not equivocate -- I will not excuse -- I will not retreat a single inch -- AND I WILL BE HEARD. The apathy of the people is enough to make every statue leap from its pedestal, and to hasten the resurrection of the dead." --William Lloyd Garrison


Brittany said...

I think this is the best blog you have ever written. I could not agree with you more. I wish that I could stand up so bravely like you do...I suppose I am getting just takes me more time. I love you. Keep writing about what is important. We can't care what others think anymore...

TJZ said...

Right on! Stick it to the man...No seriously, I'm sure you know I agree with you on this. The "opiate" reference is a very nice way of putting it. I'm sure you're(that's for Brittany) worrying your peers with thoughts, those not based on the group, but your own convictions that you have formed on your own.
I'm for anyone who is willing to have their own voice(and not be scared to use it), whether I agree with them or not. Too many people in this world wait around for others to form opinions and make up their minds for them, so they can FOLLOW and be obediant to that organization. "Groups" are overrated and, other than the individual running the group, have no person only people. A useful and successful group of people is one with the same goal, similar ideas, and one which allows equal input and implementation design from every individual. The best and most innovative organizations in the world all use these operational tactics.

And to Brittany's comment, "we can't care what others think anymore," I agree. I would only add; make sure you stay open to others input, good or bad.

Take everything in, and let out what you determine is right.