Early Morning February 5, 2007
... We are too numb to shiver. Although this is true of American society at large, this is most shameful for Christians. We are too numb to the pain and trouble around us to take any notice, much less to lend a helping hand. But what is this trouble that we continuously overlook? There are the most obvious—social injustices like poverty, racism, inadequate community support, and even things like gay rights—but there are others that are just as important that are not so obvious. These less obvious ones include the misuse of the gospel, the inadequacy of the current church structure, the apathy and severe lack of love in the church, the hatred and fear that are fostered by the church, and unilateralism and intolerance that are rooted in the church. We are so used to these things that we do not even recognize them as problems. In some cases, we actually have appropriated them into the “gospel” and see them as part of “true Christianity.” Our numbness has grown so deep that we fail to react to the troubles on even the most basic of levels. We do not recognize the cold enough even to shiver, much less to build a fire.
I need to take time to explore these issues—both social and religious—so that I can more effectively campaign against them. Brueggemann urges me to imagine how things could be different, how things should look in the future. He calls me to be poetry in the midst of prose, to stand up to the status quo and call it out on its misbehavior—not as an enemy, but as a dear friend. The church is going down in flames and it is my job to talk about the elephant in the room, to help people come to grips with reality, and to move forward to an “alternative consciousness.”