Thanks, Randy Woodley, for describing reality well ...
Randy reflects on his experience at the Wild Goose Festival (you can still join us at Wild Goose West, by the way ...)
... I asked a serious question. “How many of you people around my age still want to change the world?” Every hand went up, some with big smiles, some with serious intent and even a few with tears in their eyes. My take-away from that mental picture is that Jesus was there, and he is up to something special…Maybe it is not too late to change the world.
In this cynical, snarky world we live in we are getting pretty good at diagnosing the problems, sometimes even to the point of paralysis. What is needed now is direct action chipping away at the systems and structures of oppression. The Jesus community must be actively present wherever oppression, marginalization and exploitation of the disenfranchised exist! The American and Euro-western church has spent the past 500 years creating and fostering a dualistic and abstract theology that was followed by a wake of injustice, violence, oppresssion and individualism. I believe that church and that theology is dying. Hopefully one day soon, the oppressive, violent, dualistic, individualistic church, (that I contributed to) will be only a confession on our lips that we use to check ourselves from becoming arrogant. So what is being birthed now?
From where I sit it appears to be a messy, blundering, almost leaderless, bunch of communities who want to focus on the real, authentic Jesus: The Jesus who was born in a stable in the midst of mouse poop and camel spit; The Jesus who grew up in the poor hillbilly region of Galilee; The Jesus who hung out with prostitutes, Gentiles, beggars and other disenfranchised people; The Jesus who radically spoke out against the oppression of both the Roman occupied government and his own nationalistic and religious contexts; The Jesus who died with criminals and loves everyone just the same, even the ones who oppress and kill the voice of authenticity. This sounds just like the kind of communities for which God has been waiting to arise. And it appears that there are two generations alive right now who want the same things.