Friday, July 31, 2009

Rhetorical Surprise

I recently added this as one of my all-time favorite quotes, albeit a partial one. It is not only the spot-on conviction that I so much appreciate, but that it is couched in the form of a rhetorical surprise. Having said that, I know there are some who will read the first part of this and misunderstand, but oh well. God's peace.

"Without equivocation or hesitation I fully and completely admit that I deny the resurrection of Christ. This is something that anyone who knows me could tell you, and I am not afraid to say it publicly, no matter what some people may think…

"I deny the resurrection of Christ every time I do not serve at the feet of the oppressed, each day that I turn my back on the poor; I deny the resurrection of Christ when I close my ears to the cries of the downtrodden and lend my support to an unjust and corrupt system.

"However there are moments when I affirm that resurrection, few and far between as they are. I affirm it when I stand up for those who are forced to live on their knees, when I speak for those who have had their tongues torn out, when I cry for those who have no more tears left to shed."
- Peter Rollins

Friday, July 10, 2009

A Fool's Defense

I make more money while typing this post than most of the world has to live on per day, and I keep and spend 92% of it on myself, but I am a good person.

I live less than 20 minutes from homeless families living on the street, and their condition is not anything I work to change, but I am a good person.

I spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars on my kids sports and extra curricular activities each year while children in poverty in my community and around the world are ignored by people like me with means to help, but I am a good person.

My neighbor is confused about spirituality and has been burned by the church in the past, but I don’t dare raise spiritual topics with her because she might think badly of me, and after all, I am a good person.

I live in a neighborhood of people who look like and view the world mostly like me, and avoid areas of town and the people where this is not true, but I am a good person.

Instead of teaching my children to sacrifice for the sake of the least, the last and the lost all around us, I teach them to ignore these so that we can live the same comfortable lifestyle as our neighbors, but I am a good person.

I have interpreted the command of Jesus to “Go make disciples of every nation” and to “love my neighbor as myself” to mean that I should congregate in comfortable chairs on Sundays with others who do the same, and love only those in my holy huddle, but I am a good person.

Even though I know that 2 out of every 3 unchurched people I am friendly with would go to church if I invited them, it has been years since I invited anyone to church, but I am a good person.

The 4 P's of Sharing Your Faith

While Jesus came to win the lost and set the oppressed free, I focus instead on creating space between me and the lost, and hoping some politician or social activist can manage to set the oppressed free, but I am a good person.

While Jesus spent his time connecting his life to people far from God so they might find life in him, I connect my life to those far from God so that I can live the same life they do and not feel deprived like I would if I had to really live like Jesus, but I am a good person.

While I affirm the power of transformation in my words and stated beliefs, I deny the power of transformation when I turn my back on the poor, ignore the oppressed, distance myself from the under-resourced and refuse to share the good news with the spiritually confused or searching, but I am a good person.

While I have made an idol of my beliefs about God, I have ignored the very heart of God and the way of Jesus, but I am a good person.

I do not feed the hungry, care for the sick, clothe the naked, visit those in prison, comfort the afflicted or stand with the oppressed, but I am a good person.

While Jesus asked, “Why do you call me good?” I ask “Why do you not call me good?” You should know by now that I am a good person.