Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Spiritual Hyperventilating Does Not Solve Much

A fellah came into my office the other day. He represented one of the newer evangelical house churches in town and wanted some help completing a list of all churches and pastors. He, along with some others, are doing their best to make weekly presentations to every church men’s group in order to give new life to a local Promise Keepers movement through which to address some of the pressing ills of the community. His main point was that our community is under attack by Satan and unless something is done soon Satan will win. It was clear to him that the community was just sitting idly by while drugs, family disintegration, homelessness, hunger and more were growing unabated in the face of public apathy. I helped him with his list but suggested that we leave Satan out of it. Blaming the devil did little more than absolve us of our own culpability. Maybe it was time that we took responsibility on ourselves for ourselves. I don’t think he liked that answer. We also had a few moments to talk about how the many social service agencies in town, many of them church affiliated, are working together in a coordinated way to not only talk about these problems but actually do something about them. That also seemed to be unsettling news to him. He finally asked if we had any kind of men’s breakfast group that they might make a presentation to and was truly disappointed to learn that our 35 year long group that meets each week preferred to devote their time to bible study and spiritual development. I tell you there is nothing sadder than a semi-hysterical the-end-is-coming would be Christian warrior discovering that the veterans in the trenches are way ahead of him.

3 comments:

lucy said...

great post! i had this flash of chicken little and "the sky is falling! the sky is falling!!"
so true that hysteria rarely (if ever) solves anything.
and i love the image of the veterans already in the trenches...taking responsibility on themselves for themselves possibly?

Anonymous said...

I hear shades of Flip Wilson's famous line, "The devil made me do it!" in this guy's approach. I believe that although evil is a very real phenomenon, personifying it for purposes of casting blame doesn't lead to a solution to its effects. I agree that we need to look within ourselves for responsibility and to God for strength, wisdom and direction. So amen, CP!

Marilyn

Country Parson said...

Thank you both.