Sunday, May 29, 2011

Is There Life After Talking?


There are so many young people who are disillusioned with Christianity.  They are disillusioned with bad theology, emotional rants, moral failures, refusal to help the poor (and yes it is refusal when one remains inactive), American flags on church altars and the disgusting display of extreme nationalism, church splits, thousands of denominations, inequality, judgment and fire and brimstone, selling Jesus as a commodity to ‘get into heaven.’  I mean I could go on, really.  And who can blame us???  We want Jesus; we don’t want church, as history has known her. 
            Back to the disillusionment…with our broken dreams and frustrated ideals so many of us make the decision to leave the church bodies we are apart of due to the fact that we simply cannot stomach the madness any longer.  The bitterness starts to grow and very soon turns into an attitude of a Pharisee.  We don’t want to help; everything that has been done is completely wrong; there is no hope and no redemption.  We have conversation after conversation about how the church has gotten it so terribly wrong.  We write blogs speaking of social justice and against hell.  We start churches with coffee shops in them to foster community.  But really, what are we doing?  We talk a kick ass talk, but what walking are we really doing?  We do our best to live our lives a bit differently and try to be apart of communities where we feel we belong and just keep living and talking and blogging.  I don’t mean to be too harsh, as all of these things aid awareness and transformation.  But how long must one be in a transformation process before one actually does something? 
            You see us young people who ‘throw down’ still pursue the American Dream (whatever that is).  We may package it a bit differently, but the truth is we still want our fancy education, our apple products, our houses, our cars, and our designer beer to prove we can drink and are not legalistic.  We still want our titles and we still want to have leadership positions that afford us affluence and influence all in the name of change.  We judge you and if we think you aren’t like us you are lumped in the category of those who don’t understand the context of Jesus and what he was really about. 
            We are so damn good at talking and blogging but what are we really doing that is really all that damn different?!  Are we dying so that someone else can live?  Are we living on just enough so that we can give the rest away?  Are we actively looking for ways to bring justice and peace? 
            The talking used to be enough.  It used to inspire me.  Apparently it inspired me to just keep talking.  I’m so sick of it.  It’s not enough.  And I simply can’t go on like this.  Everyone is so quick to speak, write and start a postmodern church.  Yet communities continue to go without clean drinking water as we drink water out of our ultra cool reusable bottles, people all over the world, not to mention in this country, go without shelter as we own homes with multiple vacant guest rooms, children in Africa continue to be left orphaned or dead from HIV or even a treatable disease as we pay for health insurance that we only use from time to time, people all over the world have hungry families as we struggle to keep from becoming over weight. 
            Yep.  We do a lot of talking and when we take a break from all the talking we go buy the latest technological gadget or run through the drive through or sign a mortgage or take a trip to Europe or whatever…fill in the blank. 
            Is there life after talking?

picture from :
http://www.mediabistro.com/unbeige/in-brief-object-lessons-trash-talking-tim-gunn-offers-golden-rules_b8592

3 comments:

Carica said...

thank you.

Robert Marshall Murphy said...

My church had a tear (not big enough to be a split) over exactly this. Perfect theology is not enough. Ph.D's and clairvoyant commentary writing is not enough. In our case, a bunch of rich, White people moved out of the cathedral and into a storefront in the Hood. I have to admit, I'm encouraged in my corner of the Post-Talk world.

Daniel Paszak said...

Hey Maria,

Sometimes I think that the doers, the ones in a praxical transformative process, cannot be heard by the talkers. Or they are even invisible to talkers. That is, the talkers maintain coherence in a nonpraxical discourse of institutions. Transformational praxis subverts institutions and the ideologies that justify them. The result is that mainstream church communities will only have talk, and those that do something cannot will not be recognized in those communities, because discourse that subverts the institutional structures that gives mainstream talk its coherence cannot be made meaningful. So sometimes I think that there are doers, but we as talkers hardly get to know about them. That's what I sometimes think.
(This is me doing more talking. Sigh).