05 January 2010

"Why white folks focus on dogs and yoga, while people on the low end trying to ball and get over" – Common

This quote has been on my mind ever since I started reading Shane Claibourne’s book The Irresistible Revolution. And last night I saw a picture – that looked something like this:

and the thought came to mind – what in the World is going on with the church of Jesus of Nazareth?

There are a ton of thoughts in my head tied around this one central thought that I just can't get out of my head, so I am going to put a few on the screen.

There are dogs that have health care plans and people who don’t. I thought a lot about dogs and what they have come to represent about America and our self indulgent nature, but I don't want to come across as "anti-dog" because I am not, I love dogs, and I have wanted a dog for a long time. I don't want to get caught up in a dog argument - I want to talk about our isolationist and self serving ways of living and how we avoid any reminder that people in this world are dying of preventable diseases like bad wells and malaria in Africa while we buy sweaters for our dogs.

I was watching the Jay Leno show and they were interviewing people at a Nascar event, and they asked one guy if he would rather have world peace or meet his favorite driver, and he chose meeting his favorite driver. I didn't even crack a smile, because I think he meant it.

There is another fact that haunts me in this situation is from Brian McLaren's Everything Must Change, he states that with just 10% of our US military budget - probably even less now since the book is a few years old - we could end hunger on the planet. This ties in nicely with the Mennonite Church USA's statement on the decision to send more troops into Afghanistan:

There is not a problem of scarcity - as much as our society would tell us there is. We have plenty. Plenty of money, plenty of clothes, plenty of square footage all to ourselves, plenty of food - the problem is that those who have are attempting to protect their possessions from those who don't have them or what them. So then we build bigger walls, and bigger guns to keep those who don't have away from our stuff. In many ways, my attachments to my stuff keep me from fully diving in and following God.

I am still processing all these thoughts, and I am trying to be constructive with all this instead of just being preachy. I am not saying that I shouldn't have a house or the stuff it takes to run a house, but I am saying that as Christians we are all called to die to ourselves and take up our crosses. CROSSES! Not just $26 a month to a struggling child in Zambia. I have trouble some times with the cross of using an old and relatively small tv - much less being crucified so that I may be of use to God.