Monday, March 12, 2007
Less Polarizing II
Anger is everywhere I look. The guy that flipped me off in the parking lot waiting on someone to back out of a parking space. The Christian talk show host railing against the Democrats. The lady in line at Target yelling at her kids. I’m not sure why, but I have started watching for anger in our culture and I am amazed at what I see. Why are we so angry as a society? What’s driving all this madness? Whenever I see a puzzling, intriguing or uncomfortable behavior in someone else, I try and remember Jesus’ words and look for that very behavior in my own life. It’s a whole lot easier to study that way, because I can ask myself questions all day long, where as Mr. Drive-By-Finger guy left before I could ask him what the hell his problem was. What makes me angry? Usually it’s when I have been thwarted in some way. I want something and can’t have it, so I get mad. I would guess it’s the same for you, too. It doesn’t matter if its sleep, respect or the remote. If we don’t get it, an irritation develops; one that can easily lead to anger. What helps ease the emotion is if we have an advocate for our desire. A simple act of saying “I’m sorry” can quench the fires of many angry hearts. But in our culture, who stands for us? We are mostly alone. We are left to fend for ourselves. So if anger is provoked internally by me not getting my way, is this the same reason for anger in the Church As We Know It? Is your pastor or favorite bible teacher angry? Are your deacons angry? Are key leaders in your church angry? Maybe it’s because they are not getting their way. Years ago, The Church As We Knew It walked in close step with a common morality among the people our culture. Local governments liked the influence of churches because it helped them do their job and vice versa. Why do you think there were no alcohol sales on Sunday? But over time, those rules became irrelevant, and so was the Church. The Church isn’t getting its way, and many of its leaders are pissed. But if I am going to ever hope for sweeping change, I must firmly grasp the fact that change always begins with me, then with us. I will never see any kind of transformation if I try to start with you, and fail to include how I need to change in order to be a part of the solution. Polarity won’t win this kind of battle.