Tuesday, August 31, 2010

We must change how we live

We need to learn a new way to live.
Not because christianity gives us a definite form of life, somehow trying to recapture 1st Century palestine.
But because the western consumerist way of life is destroying the world.
As a church we have a choice.
We can be at the vanguard of thinking through how to live responsibly with this information.
Or we can trundle along with a destructive system.
We need to think about how our decisions today will affect the witness of the church in the future.
There will be a time of reckoning in the future. There may even be a backlash.
If we are tightly allied to the people and systems that are destroying the earth, we will be tainted in the future.

The church isn't really in a position to turn the western world around. It is too busy worshipping mammon. But we can think about how to live gracious and full lives in a new ecological and economic situation. We can offer a vision of community and even (what appears to be) asceticism and restraint in production and consumption. We can offer a vision of individuality and particularity that is given by the spirit, rather than by what style of products you buy.
The big question is whether we can do it without becoming a cult.


Anonymous said...

The Recent Avatar film was a truth telling parable for our times.

At a very basic level it was about the "culture" of death versus the culture of life.

The techno-barbarian invaders had already "created" a dying planet (just like us) and were fully prepared via the inexorably logic of their technocratic world-view to do the same to the Navi (just as we Westerners have ALWAYS done)

It was interesting to observe the entirely predictable right wing group-think response to the film. Especially that of right-wing "conservative" religionists.

They all came out very loudly in support of the techno-barbarian invaders and their "culture" of death.

There was one striking line in the film spoken by one of the Navi: "it is impossible to cure you of your insanity"

Quite so!

Mike W said...

yeah I picked that up too. the frustrating thing about Avatar is how it ended. The peace lovin' Navi had to be taught to be like their violent invaders and use their methods and weapons.
So a self righteous, violent america is still presented as the answer to our problems..
The beauty of the message of Jesus and the early church is that Jesus won his greatest victory by NOT fighting back, but by exhausting the evil of the world around him. The resurrection of Jesus changes everything.
i wish christians in the west (including myself) grasped the implications of the resurrection more. Then we would be empowered to live small, obscure, even shorter lives for the sake of others, instead of trying to secure our immortality through consumption.