Thursday, June 7, 2012

Are We Off Target Here?

Ok, it may just be me, but I think we're off target here a mite.

The mainstream Christian churches of Western Washington seem very intent on focusing on a few issues of note: the marriage referendum and.....well, now that I think of it, that's pretty much it.

There are sidenotes of course. The Vatican vs. Leadership Conference of Women Religious. Planned Parenthood. Obamacare. The ordination of women in the Catholic church and women as bishops in the Anglican church. The Gay Agenda. Rampant atheists running amok, making funny cartoons ("What atheists shout out during sex" springs to mind.) People who want to take "In God We Trust" off the money we issue. Or stop prayer in the Pentagon. (Do they actually pray in the Pentagon?)

And yet. And yet.

Not much coming from the loudspeakers about a Christian response to the economic crisis. No leaflets on ecological choices. Not much preached about how it is that we have gotten complacent being a nation at war, when we are followers of a God who blessed the peacemakers. Our fourth graders have never known a nation not at war with someone. Silence about those who are sitting in our pews struggling with PTSD, mental health issues, or just plain loneliness. Nothing about how we spend our spare money on technology, shoes, toys, clothes made in substandard working conditions by people who barely make a living wage. Nothing about the groceries picked by migrant workers. We don't ask. We don't tell. Nothing, and I do mean nothing, about Syria. Or, for that matter, the divisions between us here at home. Muslims who are afraid of Christians who are afraid of Muslims. The looks we give to those standing on street corners, and the looks they give back to us. The neighbors we don't know, even as we have lived in the same houses for years. Houses we spent too much to buy, and now we live in debt. The yawning in the pew on Sunday. The love of capitalism. Or of socialism. Or any --ism of your personal choice. Take your pick. Lately, they all seem to be a little more leaning towards cannibalism.

Who do we love now? Who do we hang on to with our last breath? And who, God forgive us, have we let go of? Maybe Jesus? Maybe ourselves?

It seems to me we have lost our way. Convinced that we are the faithful somehow being viciously attacked from the outside, we have lost our courage to face our own failings, which, between you and me, are usually a lot more dangerous. What was that thing about splinters in others' eyes and logs in our own? Oh right, something Jesus said. To someone else. Surely not to me.

I don't know. It all seems like a great distraction. Wielding the shield of truth, carrying the sword of justice, so we protect ourselves from this big bad world, and if we're lucky, we can whack off someone else's ears and prove how much we are willing to....well, whack off someone's ears. Peter tried that once, Jesus wasn't too impressed. I suspect he's not any more impressed with us.

Got priorities? Are you sure? Are you really sure?

I'm not so much anymore.

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