Friday, May 20, 2005

Oh, how we are tired and boring.

I'm going to say something, and then I want you to tell me whether or not you guys agree with it. Comments are okay, but full-fledged posts with fire and swearsies would be better. Ready? Here goes.

All of the specific things you hate about this life exist because of the failure of the Church.

Is this true or not? How can it be worded better in order to make it true? Or should I just flush it down the crapper and start over? I want to write volumes on this topic, but I'd like to have a real conversation about it before I even try. Maybe some examples are needed to get the ball rolling.

September 11th - Because of the Church's failure to find a way to co-exist peacefully with the faith of Islam (going back hundreds of years), we encouraged Muslim extremists to take out their frustration with our non-efforts by committing acts of violence.

AIDS in Africa - Because of the Church's stigma against AIDS in the 80s and 90s (it being a homosexual problem and all), we ignored an AIDS problem in Africa until it became the epidemic it is today.

Globalization/McWorld - Because the Church was so intent on defeating the problem of atheist Communism with the promise of democracy and the free market, we are now only beginning to question whether or not capitalism is even all that Biblical.

Genocide in Germany and Rwanda - Because the Church is famous for preaching a Gospel that props up those in power, it has failed on multiple occasions to stand up for the weak and powerless until much too late, while millions of lives have been lost.

Hunger/Poverty - Because the Church can't quite seem to grasp the entire teachings of Jesus, 800 million people still go to bed hungry every night.

Yes, the Church has done/is currently doing some amazing things. But when we've had 2,000 years to work on some of these things, don't you think we've had the potential (this side of the Second Advent) to do a bit better? Sure, sin still screws things up all over the globe every day. But when the Church fails to use its vast resources to combat sin, who is really to blame?

Or maybe I'm just being a giant ass. That happens from time to time. Let me know.


At 5/22/2005 10:34 PM, Blogger Ryan L. Hansen said...

Hi, you don't know me, but I am actually on your website. I am a friend of Jake's from seminary.

I think this is an interesting statement. And while to some degree it is an overgeneralization, I think you hit something important. I have been having a lot of thoughts lately about eschatology, and I think it comes down to that. What is our eschatological ethic? Do we believe that everything is progressively getting better until the realization of the kingdom and then jesus comes back, or do we hold to the thought that the world is flushing itself down the toilet until Jesus comes back to restore it to rights.

I guess basically this comes down to post/premillenial debates, and I know Jake doesn't like these distinctions. But if we look at the ethics implied by those eschatologies it could be telling. The ethic implied by the postmillenial eschatology would agree with your statement. An ethic of a premillenial eschatology would not neccesarily look at this crap as the failure of the church but as the way things are supposed to go, God's will perhaps?

Anyway, this is probably good stuff for us to talk about. Thanks for sparking some thought.

ryan hansen

At 5/26/2005 10:18 AM, Blogger Jake Sikora said...

Ryan, you have again shown why the post/pre debate is meaningless. Although all of the post-millenialists out there act as though the pre-millenial ethic is to blame for things being as bad as they are because it can be used to imply a hands off approach to ethics, the post-millenialsts are as much to blame as anyone. Again, you must read "Religion of Technology" by Noble to see this. All of the globalization, technological advances in weaponry and warfare, historical problems with the Muslims, and even the German genocide could be chocked up to post-millenial ethics, where we are creating heaven on earth. All millenialism is tragic for faith and ethics. It is a cooked up casserole of either disaster movies or utopian bullshit that doesn't have a chance of making it today.
To Jonny-
I agree with you. Of course. I blame the church for most everything. But you forgot, with both africa and the genocides, the long history of racism within the church that has justified watching or aiding in the death of millions. anyway, whether you're right or wrong isn't so important because this is the hot topic in theology today. blame the church and then make up some new way to do it better.


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