Tuesday, 3 July 2007
Mercy Me - Life through a lens
We have finished the series Mercy Me and I honestly think it was a God moment for us as a Church and for me personally as I allowed God to ask me the questions. Will finished the series with a very challenging conversation; I have asked him to blog it so I give you Mr Will MacLaughlin:
Mercy Me - Life through a lens.
Our perceptions are coloured and distorted by our own experiences, beliefs and culture, so that we view everything through our own unique and personal lens.
My own 'unique and personal lens' involves being brought up in a western country (western culture included as part of the deal) by western parents, wandering along to western churches and attending western schools, with my predominantly western friends ... you wouldn't really have to be a CSI to work out that being 'western' has played a massive role in my life!
I've also chosen to descrive myself as a follower of Christ, a Christian, a believer or what ever other term you wish to use ... so I become a western Christian, and my lens is altered and adapted ... but what if the lens didn't just need modified? What if it needed replacing?
The Bible seems fairly clear that God has a burning passion for those who are denied justice, for those who are oppressed, for those who are deprived of basic rights. He also seems to speak with force and directness, declaring that He will not tolerate such abuses, because of the impact such crimes have on justice, righteousness, honesty and truth.
So what has that got to do with little old me? It's governments and multi national corporations who cause the slave trade, child labour, poor conditions, unfair pay, cruelty and abuse ... not me! I give to charity, I help those people who are enslaved, who are robbed of justice, who are viciously oppressed!
BUT if I look through God's lens then I HAVE to recognise that my power and privilege is built on a foundation of injustice, and maintained through continued oppression and a removal of rights for many.
It's much easier for me to see the disadvantages of the poor and the deprivation of those suffering injustice and try to help them througn charity and aid, than it is to target the power and privilege I enjoy at their expense. To do that means I'll need to sacrifice, I'll need to lay aside power and privilege, I'd need to make the choice to give up what I have, in pursuit of something that will help others ... I'd need to be like Jesus.
I can claim ignorance about some issues, I can claim that I'm uninformed maybe, possibly even misinformed ... but can I claim innocence? No ... I don't believe I can.
What about you?
Ignorant? Uninformed? Misinformed? Innocent?