Ek lees “Adventures in Missing the Point.” van Brian McClaren en Tony Campolo. Ek gaan waarskynlik nog ‘n paar keer oor hierdie boek skryf. Ek skryf onder andere hierdie “post” om die aandag te skuif na die vraag: Wat kan ons doen om meer effektief te wees wat God bedoel het ons as Christene en kerk behoort te wees?
Brian McClaren verwoord iets van my gedagtes oor dit waarmee ek besig is en wat ek sien gebeur in en om die kerk en die kerk in hierdie wêreld. Dit is juis hierdie gedagtes wat my op hierdie koers gestuur het. Hierdie koers waar ek wil probeer om die mens met wie ek werk ‘n bietjie beter te ken en te verstaan. Ek wou hierdie stuk vertaal het, maar dalk is dit maar die beste om te probeer om dit net so oor te tik.
“Despite our sincerity and best of motives, preachers like me mess people up. It’ s unintentional, believe me: we’re just trying to protect people. But we damage people, nonetheless.
We want to protect people from alcoholism and drunkenness, so we tell them not to drink any alcoholic beverages. To protect them from alcolhol we recommend they avoid establishments that serve it. To be on the safe side, we tell them to avoid people who drink alcohol… and to avoid excessive laughter as you’d hear from tipsy people… and, in fact, to avoid parties in general except boring ones.
We want to ptotect folks from extramarital sex, so we create so much tension around the subject that we make people uncomfortable not only with the opposite sex, but with their own sexuality, too. Okay, we preachers admit, maybe we’ll create a little sexual anxiety, maybe some of our hearers will become a tad nerdly, weird, uptight – but at least they won’t get into overt sexual trouble. We hope.
We want to protect folks from following the crowd and succumbing to peer pressure, so we imply – or outright assert – that good christians don’t go to R-rated movies (or any movies at all), don’t listen to rap music (or any popular music at all). We approve of them spending all their time in church services, church meetings, church activities – safe rabbit holes, a protective Christian ghetto.
We want to protect our folks from greediness – so we create a preaching climate that suggests it is morally and biblically dubious to make good money, to be extraordinary succesful, to maximize their earning potential. We imply that middle-class ambitions are okay, that mediocrity of any sort is safest.
We want to protect folks from losing their faith, so we warn them against reading philosophy, from participating in culture and arts, from dealing with tough questions and controversial issues. We preachers exhort them to avoid the sciences (they might accept evolution!), avoid the social sciences (they might sympathyze with liberals, criminals and homsexuals!), avoid the arts (they may have to look at nudes!) We recite pat answers and platitudes, even when it makes us feel dishonest, shallow, trite, tortured. We feel justified, though, convincing ourselves that even a bad faith is better than a lost faith.
In short, wanting to protect our congregations from becoming of the world, we preachers tell them, “Don’t be in it.” We’re just comfortable to have Christians under our influence to be outside our culture rather than in it, into it, or with it.
There’s only one problem: in trying to save people from the world, we miss the point. We actually ruin people (and ourselves) as disciples, and probably damage them as human beings, too. What’s amazing is how patient our parishioners are with us, in light of the damage we do them. It’s amazing how patient the Lord is with us too, in light of the damage we do to his people and his cause.”