Thursday, September 30, 2010

Ungovernable and Broken:
California, The Church and Cows

My cousin Lori, a big paper and web reader, turned me on to an insightful blog article about California and our near-death insolvency.  "There's no budget, but California is all over the foreign cow issue" lifts up some terrifying aspects of the train-wreck we all seem to agree our state has become, a place in which the general population seems to becoming not merely depressed and hopeless, but deeply apathetic and uninterested in solving our problems.  "If we all focus on the budget, then we're going to crash [personally and emotionally]" said a congresswoman.  Maybe that's why so many congress members are up in arms about foreign cows being used in a Happy California Cow commercial.  Maybe that's why the governor went an made a bad cult movie with decrepit action stars [The Expendables | TRAILER] while serving our state in the past year.  Nothing better to do, I guess.  Here's the commercial.  You may need to watch it on the original site: LINK

I found myself thinking about the Church following a lunch today with several people that grew up in the Church, hunger for such community and meaning-making in life, but don't want the baggage that came with their experience of Church that was produced from the church growth movement of the 1950s, a one-size-fits all culturally homogeneous moralistic dictatorship (or at least feels that way).  The Church today is much like California: broken, nearly insolvent, unsure of what to do to address, let alone solve, the problems confronting us.  So we often are distracted by foreign cows: recycling issues, music, appearance, maintaing unquestioned traditions.  Like the congresswoman said about the state, if we focus on what's not working, then we'll crash.  Yet aren't we a train wreck hurdling towards a crash if we don't address them?  I fear that often we deflect from facing our problems as a community and institution because they seem to overwhelming, familiar and uninteresting.  Maybe in addressing our problems: decreased attendance, shrinking money, growing facility issues, non-clarity in terms of how to proclaim the gospel in today's culture; we will not only begin to solve our problems, but also rediscover our passion, purpose and perspective.

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