The fight against inanity

Merry-Go-RoundWarning: if you are put off by a few profanities and a misunderstanding of Calvinism, then please do not click the link below. If, on the other hand, you would like to engage with the culture around you, then please read the article. 

I ran across a post entitled The Bullshit Machine which I found challenging and thought I would share it with you. I am not sharing this for shock value, nor do I do it gratuitously. I realize that I risk alienating readers who frown upon the use of profanity, but the risk is worth it if the ideas are heard.

The author of the article points out the futility of living in an unthinking, uncritical society which lives for pleasure (or the avoidance of pain). For example, he writes:

Remember when cafes used to be full of people…thinking? Now I defy you to find one not full of people Tinder—Twitter—Facebook—App-of-the-nanosecond-ing; furiously. Like true believers hunched over the glow of a spiritualized Eden they can never truly enter; which is precisely why they’re mesmerized by it. The chance at a perfect life; full of pleasure; the perfect partner, relationship, audience, job, secret, home, career; it’s a tap away. It’s something like a slot-machine of the human soul, this culture we’re building. The jackpot’s just another coin away…forever. Who wouldn’t be seduced by that?

The struggle I have is that people in the church can be just as unthinking and un-engaged as the people the author describes in the article. In the church, we have real answers to real questions, but too often the church is the last place where people feel comfortable asking those questions. We erect ramparts of rules, lists and tradition as a defense against engaging the culture around us. The ramparts are effective in keeping the world out, but make impossible the mission that Jesus gave us to make disciples.

We, as the church, need to provide a refuge against the inanity that is all around us. We cannot remain content to offer cleaned up, “Christianized” inanity. We must offer real truth and articulate how that real truth speaks against the inanity. We must present the gospel in all its fullness by teaching and demonstrating how it speaks to every issue of life. We must make the church where it is safe to ask difficult questions. We need to provide more than simplistic answers to those questions.

We are flawed people living in a flawed world and we desperately need an intervention from God to make us something we cannot hope to become on our own. Life is a messy affair and the church needs to be willing to walk through that mess to bring people to Jesus.

Forget programs, forget gimmicks. Bring the gospel in a way that can be understood and help people out of the cycle that the author of The Bullshit Machine describes.

If we have the answer (we do in Jesus) we should be living in such a way as to attract people to find that answer. As Jesus said, Keep your light shining . . .