Thursday, 14 January 2010

of being sent

I knew where I was in London, here I'm not so sure.


Because the readership of phil-blogs enjoys polemic to chew on and because this house is so empty - I've only the parents to banter these with and that only after they've burnt their day trying to keep the NHS from toppling over - I am posting these here. They are not questions keeping me up at night or unravelling faith.

Of Mission and the Environment: I am over-due posting “On why I am not an Environmentalist”. It can be reduced here to the conclusion that it is an -ism predicated on guilt-driven behaviour modification rather than grace-fuelled heart change, it is too small an '-ism to ascribe value to nature, too small to motivate saving action and ultimately never far reaching enough to tackle the issue at the root of environmental degradation. However, to we who believe we have an -ism big enough, in the -ism become flesh who dwelt among us, the challenge presents itself: How shall we then fly? Shall we then fly? Neatly and savagely worded by the man himself in Matt 23v15. Modern mission carries with it all the colonial baggage of former folly if we are uncritically complicit by flying on, and thereby preaching the Good News of, imperially cheap oil.

Of Prayer Letters: There is a typology of dispatch assigned its own genre, the prayer letter, it presupposes a certain christianism in its readership that I would be at error to presume, further, it implies that there should exists non-prayer letters, ones concerned to be celebrating with gratitude every gift gifted and expressing with humility those needs needed. So these letters will be letters.

Of Prayer Letter etiquette: I'm just going to batch you all who RSVP to my first in a spiritual spam bcc, I cannot say that this is what Jesus would have done, and I am not unaware of the contradictions of its disintimacy. Anyone on this, advice on carbon copying, techonology and authenticity?

Of Praying and Receiving Prayer: Something else I have given time to chewing on in this empty house, a fear of what may tacitly affirm an arbitrary dichotomy of those whom we send in prayer, and those, the civilian laity, who do so called ordinary work - a divisive splitting of ones whom the church supports financially and those expected to make their own tents. So I will venture timidly on but probably make no great length answering accusations of a brazen sense of entitlement or unqualified notion of the desert of this cause over and above the urgent and glaring needs of the global unfed and enslaved and the more local unreached or unhoused.

Of self-conscious 'Christian' work: There are two soundbites which sound great in a sermon but muddy the water somewhat when wrestling with the imminent practicalities of christian work in a mission context 'Mission is not crossing the sea, it's seeing the cross' and 'Christian: good noun, poor adjective'. The first, valid at one level that the sum of mission is not the airfare, tacitly makes light of the challenge of crossing the sea. The latter, again valid in trying to reign in the nominal and shed the sprawl of paraphernalia calling itself 'Christian Shampoo' risks losing a category of helpful distinction. That which we create both aids us in our task of, and is imprinted with the image and story of, patience, generosity, self-control, joy.. If we are going to discount 'Christian' for this purpose, RB should supply us with another and better adjective to label our ambitions.

Of Sending and Being Sent: For those considering mission themselves I would stress the importance of a meditation on Rom10v15, to which must be added in its tidy cascade, "..And how are they to be sent unless they pause long enough to belong?"

-- addiction to hands and feet.

1 comment:

Steven Carlson said... addiction is growing...