response to: Everyone's got a Crusade...

Please read the post below this one for context...

6 comments:

pastormack said...

What does such advocacy look like? In seminary, I knew a large number of people who were passionate about a number of issues that they did nothing about. Is it best to advocate for "the marginalized" (whoever that may be) through the church, through individual agencies in communities, or through government power at the state and federal level? It seems to me that if you are truly trying to help people, this will be more effective the closer it is to home.

How does this gel with "blessed are the poor"? It strikes me that, according to Jesus, we have to learn from the marginalized as well as minister to them.

Peter said...

Good questions raised, pastormack. I as much a part of the rat race as anyone - I work 60 hours a week, and go to school. I don't intend to live my entire life in this way, but for now I'm thankful to (a) learn, stretch and grow, and (b) be able to at least keep some productive conversations going.

"The marginalized," in my view, are anyone with less power than me. It is my duty, then, to share what little power I have. This happens in conversation and in relationship.

I'm willing to support any agencies or organizations that espouse that same value, but my time and resources are limited. I'm not sure why you assume my efforts are not focused closer to home.

Peter said...

I AM as much a part of the rat race... forgive sloppy typing.

Brent said...

I think it is great that you have this desire to come along side these people you feel have been "marginalized" but be careful not to believe you have it good because you are "white" privileged when you have it good because God has blessed you. Don't give the praise to your perceived "white" privilege but give it to the One who has placed you in such a place. Do you need to feel guilty about being in such a place when it was your God who placed you there? I think God would want you to be thankful with your blessings and strive to bless others from were He has placed you.
Maybe because of my personality I'm not real keen on the value of advocating although I think the friendships you have created our invaluable. I would caution not to aid someone in stagnation. Advocating for things is a persons outward forcing of an inward struggle. Would you claim that Christians should find their joy in the Lord and not riches, the lack of persecution or a Christian America? In that same train of thought, why aid others in believing external stimuli will bring them the joy they desire when you would say we should not.
With my dislike for advocating I'm not saying Christians should not help those in need or who find themselves in these circumstances. I just worry about the natural human inclination to blame something outside oneself for the way one feels inside. If you preach that they have a RIGHT to feel oppressed you kill the only thing that will ever bring them out of their feelings; their ability to CHOOSE not to be a complete slave to circumstances. AS LONG AS THEY CONTINUE TO SEE THERE PROBLEM OUTSIDE THEMSELVES THEY WILL NEVER SEE THE ONE'S INSIDE THEMSELVES. As long as you excuse their stagnation because of oppressive "white" privilege or another reason you keep them right were they find themselves. They will never see any reason to move beyond the circumstance... they will only wait and whine for it to be changed. While your advocating will confirm their perceived RIGHT and hold them to believe external stimuli dictates everything response in their lives thus truly becoming the most oppressive thing in their lives. If slavery by men is oppressive what is it when men are slaves to the idea that their environment dictates everything about their happiness? If they are marginalized, feed them nutritious food not the moldy grapes they are already eating. Strive to help them know the true help in God’s love for them. Don’t keep their focus on what they perceive to be injustice. It will only stagnate them in an idle thought.
I don’t buy you being a sponge. In that imagery you helplessly soak up anything you are next to, when you haven’t. You have sought out such things and relationships. Its awesome that you strive to moved beyond Christian circle and show that God is not hateful or mean. I also like that you have come along side people who feel outcast. In what you have described as soaking up other’s crusades it would appear you like to encourage the least of these. Maybe that’s your thing, your personality.

Ps, Keep Satan in Halloween.

Peter said...

I don't believe God has placed me here any more than my slaveholding ancestors placed me here. There is mutual causality, but I don't believe God is "blessing" and "cursing" like an elementary teacher giving out gold stars. History, and the life of the Saints, are pretty hard to align with that sort of prosperity-theology.

Brent, thanks for the encouragement though. I appreciate it.

Great P.S. The Easter Bunny is next on my list, and he's like a pink, fluffy Satan that lays chocolate eggs.

Brent said...

You know I was not talking about a gold star earned blessing. I was speaking of a gift. But your probably right in the meaninglessness of what bio-psychosocial place we are born into. It's either meaninglessly unimportant to God or meaningfully important to Him. I haven't a clue why God does or doesn't do this or that. It does all appear meaningless.

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