Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Book- Jesus For President ,The Movie- Avatar, The Church Bethany UCC,and my thoughts lately

I have been reading another one of Shane Claiborne's books Jesus for President by Chris Haw and Shane. The first book of Shane's that I recently blogged about here a few months back, Irresistible Revolution still seems so fresh in my mind, and has left me haunted in many ways that I am not doing enough to make this world a better place.
This new book I chose to read to stay on that same train of thought( the train that wants to make the world a better place is not an easy train to be on), has done the same thing, but magnified that thought x 1000!

Seriously, I have to say, that this book is even more challenging than the first because it deals so much with politics and how they correlate with being a Christian. Politics have changed and are still changing for me on a daily basis. Honestly, though they are not my full-time job, not even my part-time job for that matter and by that I mean I would consider myself to be the average American voter who only pays attention to things when election years roll around. That is some real, REAL honesty there(so don't be a judger). SO, reading this book which is primarily written by two extreme activists in this regard has made me realize how my ignorance was really bliss! Now that I know what I know after reading this book I can't turn back.

It talks about the violence of wars and their aftermath. What it looks like to be a Christ follower, who if we are truly following in Christs foot-steps we are to love our enemies, do good to those that hurt us, and I am pretty sure He said something about turning the other cheek. He never said, take what you want, when you want it and by all means use force to get it if necessary. Which btw, is pretty much in a nutt-shell the U.S. of A's entire history.
PLEASE,Please, don't take me wrong I am EXTREMELY grateful for this country and although I believe many of our ways are twisted and could use a serious wake-up call, there is also another side of the US that I see, in the faces and stories everyday that are good, but for the sake of what I am internalizing right now I have to say personally I see so many more changes that need to be made, rather than things that would be good if they stayed the same. Hope that makes sense?

I think this book combined with being totally blown away by the new movie Avatar has made me angry with our country and it's history. I hope it's a righteous anger, but all I know is it makes me want to do something, anything to make things better in this country. If you have seen the movie than I hope you get the correlation about taking things by force and how much the US has played a part from it's very origin in doing this very shameful act of injustice.

On top of this book, and that movie there is the new church I have been attending, Bethany United in Seattle or Bethany UCC.
This church if full and I do mean full of WORLD CHANGERS! Like this past Sunday, they had an amazing speaker, Pramila Jayapal, who talked about immigration reform. It was powerful. It was challenging to listen to the stories of immigrants whose rights as human beings are being violated every day in the name of the law. I cried silent tears pretty much the whole time she was talking for many reasons.
And now here tonight my heart is torn.
My eyes of full of tears again for so many reasons.
I am wondering what is my part in all of this?
She said something that I believe sums up what is happening to me, "If you allow yourself to feel fully everyday it is a courageous act. You can't help but become an activist."
I don't allow myself to feel fully everyday. It hurts way too much. I think I am beginning to awaken more feelings about all of this stuff and it scares the hell out of me because I know where this train of thought leads.
Why am I on this train again? Oh yeah, because I have 4 children.
This train of thought is not easy.
It's not for cowards. In fact it's not coward friendly at all, which is what I am to the core.
Like the Lion in the Wizard of Oz, I talk a big game, but I am scared and allow fear to dominate so many of the choices that I make in life. My phlegmatic nature is opposed to being an activist, but it's never too late to change.
I am beginning to find my ROAR though.
I hope that this new voice I have found always speaks
Life instead of Death,
Love instead of Hate,
Mercy instead of Judgement.
Honestly, Oh God I pray, I hope it sounds more and more like a Lamb than A Lion.


digapigmy said...

Avatar made me angry about this country too. Obviously for different reasons since you apparently liked the movie.

(You should probably be more angry at South America, the Middle East, China, and Russia if you're becoming an environmentalist, but that's just a thought.)

I think that "the American dream" is almost a direct rejection of the message of the Bible . . . something I've been trying to compose a blog on but I'm lazy. Good thoughts.

noel said...

Brent- glad to hear I wasn't the only one who got upset by that movie, and yes even for different reasons:)
I don't know what I am becoming honestly, just know that I am motivated to change some things.
I absolutely agree with you about the American dream and Christianity being polar opposites. YOU should blog about it so we can all get some good conversations going.

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