WORDS FROM W.W. April 5, 2011

The recent issues of Time have included a hefty amount of coverage about the disasters in Japan. There has been even more emphasis given to the unrest in numerous Middle Eastern countries. As we’ve watched the situation it amount of information seems to be like falling dominoes that keep tumbling into the next one, and the next one, and . . . .

Is it just a coincidence? Is it just something that happens once every thousand years or so? Surely, it doesn’t mean that Egypt’s unrest was a cause in Libya’s unrest, and Yemen’s unrest, and . . . you get the picture!

I would say “no” and “yes.”

Each nation has it’s own unique set of circumstances that have led it to the point of rebellion. Corruption, poverty, lack of hearing, rich and poor, oppression, long-held traditions, and entrenched government leaders . . . all of these ingredients have been poured into the pots of each country in varying degrees. So, in one way, what has happened in Egypt has no relation to what is happening in Syria.

BUT, in our ever-connected world, what happens one place gets communicated quickly in another. I’m “facebooking” my nephew in Baltimore about his wedding in Chicago next October—it is faster than a letter, and even a phone call. Videos of our grandson are being shown to our families in Ohio and Georgia through our daughter’s Facebook page as soon as they happen. My son and I were wondering what the student enrollment at Butler University in Indiana is, so I “googled” it, and found out that it is just under 4,200, within seconds. I was recently curious about how many times Elizabeth Taylor had been married, so I went to online to Wikipedia and found the answer in 10 seconds (8 times to seven husbands). And, I’m texting my daughter in Sioux Falls about what we’re having for dinner.

In other words, there is immediate communication, unless you’re in the middle of a tsunami. With immediate communication comes an expectancy of immediate change. So, what happens in Egypt does impact what will happen tomorrow in Jordan.

Change is changing!

The Body of Christ needs to hear that. I doubt that it will be taken as good news. We, the church, are skeptical of change. The history of the Christian church is dotted with numerous changes that have left people confused and spiritually damaged. It has left us scarred, but, hopefully, a little wiser. Sometimes change is good, and sometimes it’s just craziness lived out.

But change is changing! It has come, and is still coming; and the way it’s coming is changing. It’s more rapid, more reactive. Change is less frequently concerned with the aftermath. Sometimes it is self-centered, while at other times it is an aggressive step forward in concentrated human compassion.

We can look at the Middle East situations and easily conclude that change will be mostly be resisted and fought. Change, however, when meeting unsympathetic intolerance, in recent times has gained remarkable momentum.

I’m even envisioning a cartoon where a young child is texting his friends. His mom asks him what he is doing and he responds, “I’m texting all my friends to schedule a protest rally tonight to put pressure on you to change your decision about buying a bag of cookies at the store tomorrow.”

Change is changing. Movements, right or wrong, are created overnight.

Bottom line, I believe this will impact the church more than it ever has before, and more quickly, too. The urgency in that is that we must know what the essentials are. But, the essentials need be more clearly stated than ever before, and we also must know what the non-essentials are.

What must we hold on to? What are the beliefs that cannot be compromised away, for in compromising them we lose the foundation of our Christian faith?

And, what are the things that we’re just too stubborn to allow to be changed? By not changing those things, we will lose our ability to speak to the culture.

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2 Comments on ““CHANGING CHANGE””

  1. Pam Says:

    Wow … I hadn’t read this before talking to you this morning. Good words, thanks!

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