Okay, I'm asking for critique and opinions of how I need to proceed with a further witness of the gospel in a co-workers life. We bounced around emails and this was a response to one that he had sent me back. The conversation started when he wrote an article, in a little email newsletter from our company, about Woodstock and the relative good nature of the event, and if we all just lived in that moment how good the world would be.
Below are the seven things that he pointed out to me of what the 60's really meant and mean in today's culture. These are the things that, if followed, would bring peace and harmony - okay now that I've set that up please read and let me know.
Your boasting friend,
Thank you ________.
I guess my point would be the idea of worldview or the true nature of people. How they generally act, think, create and how those things effect the state of our being and effect the generations down the line. I respect your knowledge here and would not be able in the least to compare with that. I was born in '67 so I couldn't quite catch up to you...:) Although that is true its never stopped me before.
So let me deal thoughtfully point by point:
a) a more mystical consciousness
I think there is little definition of this or there was during that time. Did they define that, or, would that be too 'unmystical' to try and define? I think mystery is very evident within the Ethos of God and so when the Apostle Paul would say, "the mystery of Christ in you the hope of glory" Col 1:27, there was a well defined parameter of Whom he was speaking of. So would defining this take off the edge of what they were trying to say or what you are saying?
b) a heightened awareness of the vital need to take care of our environment
I can agree to a point. I think when we look back on some of the 'greening' we might be a little more than disappointed. And just because some guy loses his job over my own need to be 'green' we might have to rethink some of these techniques that we're using. I would point to the use of DDT in Africa, because of one book they ceased to use this pesticide, as a result a virtual genocide in that country commenced that spread malaria at alarming rates. I agree lets take care of what God has given to us as stewards but lets not deny the fact of what our 'greed for green' causes. Is there even an element of corporate greed on the other end of this? I.e., those who want to squeeze the bigger corporations into actions that are not altogether warranted, basically spreading rumors and talking of doomsday?
c) a renunciation of the mind-numbing corporate state
Cannot say that I don't agree with this, although I want to be thankful where I feel God has placed me, I cannot think in that mindset. I must think people but most importantly God and his global purposes.
d) an effort to live more comunally and to share resources
I think you might like, Acts 2:44 - "And all who believed were together and had all things in common" I think that there was nothing better, then or, today, of having a commonality with others. Kind of like Cheers with Norm and "everybody knows your name." But it wasn't centered on my needs but those 'who believed' came together because they weren't so concentrated on themselves, but they were concentrated on God, they were God centered. In the history of the world I'm sure there was not a people more persecuted for their beliefs than those early Christians but they got together and stayed together because of the One who brought them together. That is a community ethos that cannot be broken.
f) newer forms of expression (particularly in the arts...the goal being to make one completely reexamine "traditional" schools of thought )
Okay, I think I get this. I would only say that it is a respect of those traditions that will lead to greater awareness, hence I cannot just look at God and the created world and how it expresses itself without some type of grasp on Who created and sustains it. I think it would be helpful to insert a quote from a recently read article , " Agassiz died... believing to his dying day that to study nature was to study the works of God. He worked tirelessly to see a zoological museum built at Harvard and when it was finally opened in 1860, Harvard?s President declared it was appropriate that the museum stood face-to-face with the theological school, ?God?s word and God?s works mutually illustrating each other.? I think that it requires digging into the traditions of past generations to see mistakes and triumphs but ultimately to see how God works through it. That is why I'm reading the biography of Andrew Jackson, amazing to see what he lived through to become the 7th president, also what our Union survived through, we would still be speaking with a British accent if it weren't for some of these brave souls. Are the 'newer forms' without any moorings on the past? When you say, 'reexamine', it brings to mind suspiciousness or casting a 'weary eye' toward something. What if there is found to be incompatibility in the newer v. older? What would be the criteria by which it is judged to be copasetic?
e) and lastly, (and perhaps most important of all), an appreciation for the sheer miraculous joy of existence.
What about the person with a disability or those born into starvation? I'm really not trying to bust your chops because I think God has purposes in both of them, if he did not then they would not exist. That is my worldview coming into it. I think it is instructive to see the depression, anxiety, and psychosis that grips our society because of the vacuum that an entertainment driven society requires. We don't want to think about suffering but it is a fact of every living human being. George MacDonald, CS Lewis' pastor, wrote this at the forward of CS Lewis' book The Problem with Pain, "Jesus Christ came into this world, not so that men might not suffer, but that in their suffering they might become like him". See I believe that the world revolves around Truth, not my truth, not your truth but a Truth that is Objective and clear, it provides purpose and ultimately unspeakable, unshakable JOY! So that the parents, caring for their 18 y/o son, who will never make it out of a wheelchair, and will spend all of his life immobile, and unable to speak, can find joy in the process of caring and loving a circumstance that is most unlovable. I'm not saying that it happens overnight, it could take 8-10-12 years or eternity to understand the joy filled purpose which God sent that into our lives. I believe that it is ultimately a joyous thing to find all my treasure in God and live in such a way that every circumstance speaks to His glory. Again this is a juxtaposition of joy but yet an awesome union in the end. What do you say? How do you derive joy from the everyday mundane tasks? How is it that ones existence is a 'joy' even when those circumstances don't pan out?
Finally, I'll just leave you with another quote that I just recently read:
In the book by Alan Jacobs, Original Sin, "The book included this gem of a quotation from novelist Rebecca West: "If the whole human race lay in one grave, the epitaph on its headstone might well be: 'It seemed like a good idea at the time'."
Take care my friend,