Pomo & Oddball –
I read blogs, occasionally. I can’t sit for hours and read this stuff, but it’s interesting, at times. This whole discussion around the postmodern culture wars, and what is relevant and what isn’t is pretty funny, and sometimes, heady stuff. One thing that is emerging (!) is a feeling of pessimism, and negativity. One of my favorite movies was one-called “Kelly’s Heroes.” I know, some of you will think it has no redeeming value, but to me, the laughter was worth it. It’s a 1970 pic with Clint Eastwood, Donald Sutherland, Don Rickles, Gavin MacLeod, and just a bunch of the top funny people and actors of the day.
In the movie is a hippie. That’s right. Even though it’s WWII, Donald Sutherland’s character is a tank commander aptly called, “Oddball.” What’s a hippie doing in a 40’s war movie? That’s the point – the film was done during the Viet Nam era, so they placed a character from the 60-70’s in the WWII setting. Oddball had a quote that he continually used, “What’s with all the negativity…the negative vibes?” Well, what’s with all the negativity pomo people?
I realize we, the church, have much to learn, repent of, and try to do better at. But what the heck is with all of the bitter criticism? I was chased around cars by angry parents in the 70’s because of the way I looked. These folks were deacons and preachers and I had just prayed with their children to accept Christ. One guy wanted to kill me – the head deacon at the church where I spoke; just because of my hair and beard, and lack of proper attire. I didn’t write the entire church world off because of a few, or even the many churchaholics. For all of its faults, the organized church has done the vast majority of the work in evangelism, benevolence, and testimony to the world. I’m still waiting to see what this young, critical culture can do.
So, show me! Are you going to run off to some mountain because you’re smarter, holier, and doggone it, you’ve had it? Or are you going to put your hand to the plow …. and plow? Let’s see some positive action instead of negativity. Let’s see you create expressions of faith where thousands of people will want to be a part. Let’s see you live what you preach about a simple lifestyle so we’ll know it can be done. Give me a living example of love and action that will shadow the current expressions. And show me a language of love that transcends whether we are postmodern, modern, quasi modern, semi modern, ultrapostmodernemergingsemiancientfutureistic, or just plain…plain.
I’m waiting. Well, not really. I’ll just be over here in church, doing what I know to do until you show me a better way to do it. Surprise me! Amaze me! Shake me up! Encourage me! But what’s with all the negativity, man?