Thursday, May 26, 2005

Interview with McLaren

Q: I'm going to put you on the spot and ask for your thoughts about some conservative Christian organizations, like the Parents Television Council, seeking to pressure the government into censoring television programming. Is this going to work or will it backfire?

A: I think the Christian community is making an extremely dangerous mistake with this. The mistake is we are going from dissatisfaction to legislation and missing the middle step of persuasion. Now you would think, from our beliefs from the Gospels, that God isn't just interested in us being focused on the law, but he actually wants to change our hearts. That’s my understanding of how the Kingdom of God works, but we (the church) don't seem to understand that.
So our first move when we're unhappy about something is to get laws passed about it. To me that is pure Colonialism, Colonialism says change the world, by controlling other people against their will. The work of persuasion would be much harder, and it requires us to change our rhetoric 180 degrees. You can't, you don't, influence people you identify as the other side of the culture war. The language of the culture war is the language of "strength on our side" to dominate the other side....

Read the whole interview here. (via Sivin) I know there is this huge hoopla right now about the emerging church, etc., which I'm not going to get into. You could certainly google it and find a lot. I do believe he is onto something with this quote though. One of our goals must be to change what people care about, whether it is bad tv or music, how much the world is in need or who Jesus really is. Rules will never motivate.

A friend of mine mentioned a few months ago that in the current world where the Church is marginalized, where it is persecuted, where it is poor and destitute, seems to be where it is thriving. The Church is not thriving in places where she is seeking to legislate, where she seeking to make things safe, where she is purusing her own gain.

Photo: Times Square a few weekends ago, at midnight.

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