Thursday, September 07, 2006

Speaking Truth To Power

Thanks to Rick for this link. Good words.

Why are we inclined to be such sleepwalkers? Just today I read a headline saying that the CIA protected the US from further attacks by their secret prisons. I am reminded that Caesar could use anything to justify the growing of the Empire.

When will those who claim the love of God as a higher way be awakened...this sleeping giant called the Church, when will you speak out and not align yourselves with the Empire and it's narrative? Choose the narrative of life set before you...a life of love of Creator and creation...a life that speaks of turning one's cheek, walking the extra mile...not resisting an evil person, but overcoming evil with love.

How long, oh Lord? Teach us to love your world.

Click here to view the video clip Rick refers to.


Chris Marlow said...

It seems to me that the key to loving our world is to love those that we dis agree with.

For instance, How can we love the right & the left? I think it's silly that we choose to do community with only those we agree with.

I seem to learn more, or maybe unlear more when I'm with folks whom maybe I normally would not hang out with.

I think reform can only happen when we walk within the cultures that we want to see reformed.

Not saying that we should not voice our disagreements. As we imagine a new way to love God and do life.

I guess the questions is, how do we see reform, yet love those who we want reformed?

Ryan Lee Sharp said...

Chris, it'd be interesting to hear you develop those thoughts further...and particularly how you feel it relates with this particular post.

I'd also love to hear how your experience with walking inside a culture in order to transform it is working. I hear this thought repeatedly by people who have decided to stay on staff at a church...but I wonder about the real ability to change much. And that's no slam or dunk, just a reality that I see repeatedly.

Do you wonder if it's about reformation or if it's really about resurrection and new-Creation? And are those different or the same? Or is there really any sort of universal way that goodness and healing happens in our world?

Chris Marlow said...

aw, good thoughts and questions...i guess I'm trying to find a balance. you know, the church does tends to sleepwalk. yet at the same time, i think the church is beautiful, kind of like a child who gets dirty when they play.

i think my concerns are this, as we imagine new communities and new ways to live for christ in our world (and we desperately need to imagine something new) we have pioneers who walk ahead of the crowd, to try and map out this new way. yet sometimes those pioneers get so frustrated with the old way, and they lose touch with the people who are stuck in the old concern then is this, these pioneers, who are called by god to lead, lose touch with whom they may and can influence. (hope I'm making sense, I just had a nice brew and cigar)

take the whole emergent movement. It started with folks who were fed up with the so called modern church, right? emergent began to make a cultural impact within the church, yet in just a few short years, it seems like emergent is now losing it's influential voice. we were about kingdom, and community and missional it seems like it's all about theology, and we believe and or what we don't believe. the larger church is now focused on a few key figure-heads with the movement. yet the rest of us have lost our voice, because we always get asked about what mclaren or pagitt or jones believes...and i can give a damn about what those guys believe or don't believe. but i do know why the emergent movement got started, because we had a dream to be a missional, we wanted to fight for social justice, to realign ourselves with a better way to live out the gospel.


So take politics for instance...I was becoming so critical of "W" that I no longer could see any good, even if good existed. I was becoming a liberal fundamental sort of speak. I'm not a "W" fan, and I'm counting down the days till be leaves office. But at the same time, I'm trying to find away to make the best of this present reality. so i always ask myself and pray that God would teach me how to do this. not easy.

I guess what I'm trying to say is this, how can God use me to redeem the present...yes I want to reimagine a new future, but that does not work over-night. For instance, I know I can leave my conservative friends, find community with those who tend to agree me and how I think life should work. That is easy, but man it's hard to stay within the community and struggle.

So how is it working, can reform happen? I dunno, all i know is I try to have conversation with people and help them see new ways of thinking and being and living out the gospel. Alot of these folks are part of the sleeping giant called the church, and they roam with the confines of evangelical america, and sometimes i want to punch them in the face because they twist the gospel in ways that I think hurt the church, but somehow I'm hoping that I can influence them to see a better way...because the church has to change.

At the end of your post you ask or pray that God would teach us to love our world, I think the church is at a critical crossroads in this regards, the rigth has to learn how to love the left, and vs. versa. I think it’s a mandate from god.

Of course I know it’s not that easy to make this happen, which sucks!

Andrew Greenhalgh said...

Good conversation here, fellas! I'm in agreement with both of you. Ryan paints a picture of something both painful and beautiful and Chris pretty much does the same. When you guys nail down the answer, let me know! It's totally a struggle I'm in as we speak.

Ryan Lee Sharp said...

Thanks for unpacking that a bit Chris.

Will wrote some good words here...that you may or may not feel speak to this at all.

I hope to have not suggested that we should give up on anything that has a spark of the Kingdom in it. So I'm not sure if you feel like we're talking here or if you're kind of arguing a point with me... :)

Chris Marlow said...


No bro, none of this was pointed to you personally, you and Holly have been such a great inspiration.

I'm thinking more in terms of the big picture...Trying to find hope and unity in the church, for the world.

Trying to find a way for those of us (me) who are so frustrated with the "church" and yet at the same time trying not to be blinded by the beauty that does exist.

I guess I want to be able to walk within the confines of the right and the left , without having to choose one or the other.

Of course, I may not be making any sense at all, I've been known to do that a time of two :)

Hope you guys are doing well.

Peace & Love from Austin!

Ryan Lee Sharp said...

Thanks for the thoughts/conversations/comments here folks.