A soceity begging to be legitimized
My friend, Daniel Karistai, recently published a quote in his Facebook page. It was from reading he’s doing for his graduate work. It has stuck with me for days… He did a great quote from Jaques Ellul, “Hope in Time of Abandonment”. The sticking point for me was where the author discussed how our society begs for legitimacy. The author criticizes that the church justifies what man and the world are doing. It stuck with me – won’t let go.
I began to pull at it – my conclusion: there is a lot of truth in it. Even today, the church is justifying US action in Syria; has legitimized capitalism as (wait for it) the ultimate economic system of history, in complete ignorance and-or denial of how it has also bankrupt nations, cities, societies, created a contemporary feudal system, where people are commodities to consume that the corporation succeeds, where governments cow tail to business and wars are waged for low prices. Where we pay people working “working jobs” less than they can live on, then call them lazy, but we don’t want to pay more for clothes or food – when we’re paying less % than ever in history for these items. We consume more than is sustainable.
The church now legitimizes moral devolution, consumption, self pursuit over collective good, self distraction and the petty diminishing of life having meaning with the endless noise of consumerism, technology and entertainment. We don’t even stop and ponder depth, virtue, love other than self gratifying and normally involving an erection.
What if… what if we’re wrong? What if progress isn’t measured in profit margins? Isn’t measured in empire? Isn’t measured in controlling destiny, or consuming the latest technology, or filling our days with endless noise and input? What if… it is to know God – really know Him? What if that means we love and make decisions based on imitating Him? What if we – as a society are to embody the Kingdom and it’s virtues, priorities, love selflessly? What does that mean for business? Social interactions? Production? Relationships? International engagements and decisions? What if instead of being the wealthiest, more debase shallow consumption whores we were known for how we love the world so graciously? Who would want to destroy us then? Who would be glorified? What if rather than a pipe dream we actually took Jesus at His word? What if we fed the hungry? What if we healed the sick? What if our decisions were made not on “my rights” but how can I bless, heal, help, better you?
The institutions – any institution – including church institutions – in a matter of time exist to protect our existence. Have we reached that point as the church? Do we strive to be relevant? Do we strive to win? Do we strive to dictate conditions? …instead of imitating Him? Starting with your neighbor on your left, your right; the person you know through your ____________, the one you encounter in the _______________, the needy undeserving one you passed by today? What if?