Xenophobia, Spong, and explosive apathy
How could I let times such as this pass without comment? Can we in our spirituality simply pretend that we are above the realities of our communities? For standing alongside the eruptions of xenophobia that masquerade as protecting personal rights, are the equally devastating explosions of pathetic obfuscations of Jesus! Both lead to tragedy in community.
What is your response?
Bear with me for a moment. The tragedy unfolding right now in South Africa is an end expression of what has long lain slowly festering under the surface. The present events of these days are not like some sudden random expletives shouted out by society, but rather a consequence of blindly ignoring the reality of where we’ve allowed society to go.
At times such as this, we, as Christians, are especially called to give of time, prayer, money and material aid to help those damaged in the violence and displacement. Are we giving?
But, could we have foreseen, and perhaps steered away from this present situation?
The methods we use are perfect for the results we get
Hiding one’s head in the sand means not seeing the coming explosion until it’s too late
In the same way we also face a breeding infection in the global community of believers. There are those who, in the guise of modern thought, and with chronological snobbery think the wisdom of God is dated, that the glory of God is something that needs to be re-imagined in human terms. They speak with honeyed lips and sweet voices to massage our conscience and deny the hard reality of Jesus; they make shadows within God’s light.
In our South Africa we proudly tout our “most liberal constitution”, give time to the “rhetoric of modern thought”, all the while making passive cocktail complaints about crime, unemployment, and the ills of society. Likewise we choose to give consideration to many who, like Spong (to select only one), would reduce Jesus to a mere philosophical thought, deny a plain understanding of the Bible, and say things like “Theism, as a way of defining God, is dead.” The end result is the same as if we ourselves were culpable of xenophobia – in this case against God as the foreigner.
When we choose to place our hope in human thought, power, ability and ambition over our hope in God, then there can be only one end result – eruptions of despair. Jesus is unambiguous about who He is, and without Him we are nothing. Healing in our society and in our community begins by accepting the living, resurrected, ever present Jesus.