Yes, I’ve been harping on how the Occupy movement has , to put it somewhat hyperbolically, eaten the church’s lunch regarding getting out the message of the serious case of imbalance that’s been allowed to take place in this country. Now Fast Company has taken notice of the messaging strategy and success in terms of getting out a message.
Even as a fledgling startup, Occupy has meaningfully changed the global conversation on austerity measures, putting greater focus on how these initiatives may disproportionately harm the bulk of a populace. Like a startup employing technology as a competitive weapon, the Occupy movement has used tech tools to support, amplify, and connect participants. Itâ€™s also a model. “My playbook is from the development of the Internet, harnessing the energy of the web, managed chaos,” says Shen Tong, Occupy Wall Streetâ€™s philosopher-in-residence. “Thatâ€™s the new organizing principle. The Internet really helps shape a dominant culture that makes this kind of thinking much easier. ”
So how is this relating to “Occupy Theology?” Well, messaging is somewhat important to the church. It rightly senses a call to expose those things about the world that are deceiving us into acquiescence. On this score, the church is largely a miserable failure. Especially since the advent of the most popular kind of “Church Marketing”. If we’re about filling the pews, and “posing” as something in order to build that “brand” which “attracts people”, then any hint of radical thought has to be swept away.
It “won’t play well”, and therefore “Mainline churches” will avoid the very topic. It’s too politically explosive. It will drive people away for the church to “take sides”, even though the very gospel and Scripture it portends to preach is unequivocally “with” the spirit of the movement. With the obvious impact Occupy has had on the national conversation, the church is embarrassingly silent. This is why I am filled with hope that church people have begun to “speak the language of Occupy”(even though that very language has been there all along in the history of God’s people, especially those histories which highlight “People’s movements”).
Please tell me I’m wrong. The people in the church who HAVE responded and dusted off their social gospel hats (to be fair, there are those vocal and active Christians who have been speaking, writing, advocating, and living this for several years), these “renewed” folks are the ones showing me signs that I am becoming less right about this. That makes me very happy to be wrong (to those who keep telling me I won’t admit when I am)