Fear of sharks.

August 22, 2007 at 9:04 am 3 comments

 My friend and soon to be pastor, Andy Taylor just forwarded me this excellent word by a man named David VanCronkhite (find out more about David here).  It was really excellent and resonated with me in a huge way.  In fact, though I wouldn’t have said it exactly this way or this well, I have spent considerable time thinking about this cultural and “religious” reality a lot lately.

Thank you for taking the time to read David’s timely comments.  I reformatted this document to fit my template.  The original is available here by registering for email newsletter.

Pondering the Journey
Caught in the jaws of morality

August 21, 2007

It’s always a favorite time for me just hanging out with DJ. We were pondering how his generation had a totally different view of sharks than my generation. But then, his very first encounter with a shark was the movie Jaws and it forever set a mentality: sharks are devastating, life taking, attacking, blood hungry, destructive, prowling about the deep and off the beaches of the seas. Jaws created a fear not only of the shark but of the waters.

A whole generation gained such a fear of sharks that it greatly impacted not only the shark family but a generation’s ability to see through the shark to the beauty of the beach, the setting sun over the vast ocean, the gentle waves, the thunderous surf, the sand made fresh at every tide. It is a generation that cares little to venture out and look below the shark inhabited waters at the beauty of the coral and the fish; the colors, the sounds, the movements of this vast expression of creativity.

Later, I was suddenly pondering similarities between Jaws and another greatly impacting, life changing documentary being written. It was called the Moral Majority. Though it is now defunct, its impact on a whole generation has been equally devastating. It has proven to be as negative for sinners as Jaws has been to the sharks.

I was pondering the first time I became aware of what was to become the Moral Majority. I was sitting in my dad’s office. He was one of the best in our nation at getting men elected to political offices. I listened as Christian leaders came to him to put together plans to get conservative men with moral standards elected.

A generation later we have the fruit of that effort. Moral Majority Gone Wild might be a good moniker.

What seemed to start out as an effort to warn the nation of liberal theology, social, and political issues has after some 40 years redefined Christianity. It made sin more prominent than love; fear of being found out more prevalent than love of brother; and, maybe most damning, it redefined sin singularly as a sexual or moral based issue versus the core faith issue.

Christianity was no longer about a Kingdom and a King, community, signs and wonders, grace, mercy, faith and love, justice, righteousness, compassion and the poor. No longer did people think of widows and orphans being taken care of when they heard the term Christian. I am told the surveys of the masses reveal what they think of us today: Christians — those are the people who hate homosexuals.

In less than 40 years we have transformed what Jesus said about repenting for following the systems of the world, the kingdoms of the world, to repenting for sexual immorality, as if everything else my Jesus stood for and walked out is insignificant.

The questions regarding the leadership of and fellowship with Jesus seldom conjure up the image of the Samaritan, the goats and the sheep, the looking over the city and weeping, the proclamation of a Kingdom, the statements about a new command I give you, the 70X7 stuff of grace and mercy and his solidarity with the sinners and the poor, the oppressed and aliens, the widows and orphans.

So I have to ponder whether we have created a generation that so fears being caught in sexual sin and its connotations that it never ventures into the deep of knowing the beauty of the Kingdom thinking some shark called sin is lurking to exclude them, shun them, chastise and point out with a scarlet letter, a generation that has never seen what is below the surface of flesh and disappointment yet is the reality of a loving creation of a loving God.

I ponder the recent encounter with a moral majority-like pastor who said of my stance, “People like you are usually in sin!” And in a moment, to his dismay, I got it. Yes, you’re right. It’s only sinners who need grace, only sinners who need mercy, only sinners who are looking for a God of love.

I choose to confess. I am but a sinner, saved by grace yesterday and today and, by grace, from my sins of tomorrow. I follow a God who is Love! And who loves people like me: 3 time losers, sinners unable to maintain the standards of the systems but believing God will say to us like He did to my namesake, a sinful king, “I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.”

Pondering. It’s a big Kingdom filled with a lot of love for a lot of losers.

David VanCronkhite

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Entry filed under: Belief, Charismatic, Christianity, Church, Culture, Faith, Holy Spirit, Institutional church, Jesus, Revelation, The Father, Uncategorized.

Following without understanding. Market driven church.

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. amanda  |  August 22, 2007 at 4:15 pm

    Wow. i am like Brad it makes my head spin. For so many years i have been that person molded by the moral majority, but not in the way they had planned i think. i had become ashamed of my Father’s name and would answer when asked, no i am not a Christian, but a follower of Jesus. While still a good answer (or so i would like to think) it is to my sadness and discredit that the name Christian became an embarrassment. i always felt a bit like something dies when i catch myself wanting to say no i am not when i actually am. this is a great article and i will try and get a copy of it. this is something i want NOT to forget. Thanks!

  • 2. Shiloh  |  August 22, 2007 at 11:07 am

    Wow… I ran into your blog, but can’t figure out who you are. Are you anon or am I missing a way to find your name. Hmmm….

  • 3. bscandrett  |  August 22, 2007 at 10:28 am

    don’t really know how to say what i am thinking …
    right on.
    money.
    well said.
    what my heart is thinking/screaming.
    i want to confess but like david says, i fear the sharks in the water that will steal, kill and destroy … pin a scarlet letter on me.
    christians should not live in FEAR but in FREEDOM.
    too many pharisees, not enough JESUS.

    thanks for sharing this article dad.
    i love that you are seeing things through the eyes of my generation.

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