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.


John said...

I confess I have no idea what that quote is supposed to mean. But I have been pondering similar thoughts for some time now myself.

I have come to believe that, collectively, the West has lost touch with the reality of capital and money. I have discussed this frequently on my blog too. (Look up "capital" at http://caneday.blogspot.com)

We have lost our sense of how capital is created, and instead, decided that we could create money and thus wealth. The result has been a central bank that creates money at will and allows banks to do the same. But this money is not capital, it is debt.

This massive creation of debt money along with a variety of other factors, has made things in America very, very cheap.

This all leads to a market for something obscene, such as a sweater for a dog. If it is only $8.97 (I just googled them) why not put your dog in a sweater? What is $9?

This also skews our global perspective, we've got it easy (for now at least) isn't the rest of the world like this? That's a bit simplistic, but cheap entertainment has made us captive to it and distracted us from Kingdom purposes and global needs.

I'm with you, the church has failed and must be revived if there is to be revival around the globe.

bobbydale said...

I have been reading your posts for a while now. I have been thinking through a post called "why this economy won't recover" that is based on similar monetary principals and our collective disconnection with what things actually cost and our sense of entitlement.

The quote says something like:
"Why do white (middle class) people worry about their dogs and yoga classes/outfits, while poor people are just trying to get by day to day."

I know it's more than $8.97, but $10 is enough to buy, distribute and educate Africans about a Mosquito net:

John said...

Do you have a link for that post you referred to?

On a slightly different topic, have you ever read anything by Jacques Ellul? I'm working through "The Ethics of Freedom" right now. It is a tough read, but very worthwhile.

bobbydale said...

It is a post I have been writing in my head for the last 3 or 4 months. I have never gotten around to writing it because of my lack of knowledge of economics to back up my logical deductions.

I have not read anything from Ellul, but I have been reading your posts about him.

angel said...
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