I am weary of the attempts of the media (even the more “progressive” ones) to handle (or to “get a handle”) on what’s going on out there. The process seems doomed to fail, and it brings me back to the post I linked to this last week (poserorprophet: Church and Government: The Pragmatic Angle at Theoblogical ) . There seems to be noone able to stand on their own without the “cautious approach”. Dan’s post in the above link about the inefficiencies of political action in getting things changed is the general sense I have. This whole mess with the Iraq war and all the posturing and “who’s tougher than who” has me just distancing myself completely more often than not. So much energy seems to be going for naught.
Dan offers up something in that post that struck me this morning:
Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.
Of course, the “dogs” and the “swine” are the institutional Powers — Businesses, Parties, and Laws involved (not the people, like Stephen & Co., whom I respect a great deal).
What has me reeling this morning in some bothersome sense of powerlessness is that the alternative; what is meant to be the alternative, the church, is still “out there” in some eschatological sense for me; I keep myself distant, not knowing what to do about it, not knowing where to go to even voice my misgivings; my worries, my sense of isolation from a realistic sense of a community that takes itself seriously as a community in any real sense. The claims to be “a community” that the church makes all too often strikes me similar to the way companies make the claim about their workforce being a “community”. The church seems to have accepted its role as a legitimizer of the culture’s definitions of community. All talk and no life that exemplifies this. And I’m talking about “life” as refelected in the very habits and structures in which the church has agreed to practice.
The longing “to be known” is most often ignored. We are asked to be satisified with “the journey” with noone really showing any interest in knowing much about our own. There’s no intentional structure to allow for it. There’s no intention of really being something of a radical departure from the world’s way of relating.
Part of my frustration is that I know it’s not going to change until I once again enter back into the fray; to “put myself out there” (to use the terminology of someone hurt by romance and trying to get “back in the saddle”). I know that there are people in the online world who can relate; who have similar, related visions for the church, but I have to find a real place, and I often resist blogging it because I most often feel I’ve done enough (too much) writing and ranting and blogging. But then I am faced with the nagging sense of how I can only expect more of the same. Even the churches that have the reputation of being successful and alive and dynamic are caught up in the programatic hype, and offer nothing that opens up the way to the kind of relationships we should be having as members of the Body of Christ. This way seems too threatening to the privatization of faith that way too many Christians in modernity have de facto accepted as the way it has to be.