"Eat or die."
- Jim Harrison
If I hear one more nitwit rage on about consumer christianity or a consumer faith, I may cut my ponytail and go sit in sackcloth and aspens. The usual script goes something like - "All American Christians want to do is consume; they never give back, never volunteer to serve...all they want is more, more, more, and they want most of it in under an hour, please." Trust me - I get it and some of it is warranted, but some of it just sounds like whiny leadership types.
Alright. Here goes. I believe ours has always been a consumer faith. Unless I'm hell-in-a-handbasket-mistaken, the one at the very core of this crazy little thing called faith said these words: take, eat, this is my body...take drink, this cup is the new covenant in my blood... If that's not a faith of consumption, then somebody tell me what it is.
We're all consumers. As big Jim says - "Eat or die." To my little mind, the question seems to be what are we consuming? I believe life begets life. So, if we're consuming life, it'll beget life; if we're consuming the seeds of death or half-baked empty promises, well, the landscape will look much like it does these days. I'm a writer, so I'm always looking and listening and let me tell you, people are crazy-hungry, almost starving...so much so, that we're willing to live on information...
This is not the age of information.
This is not
The age of information.
Forget the news,
And the radio,
And the blurred screen.
This is the time
People are hungry,
And one good word is bread
For a thousand.
- David Whyte
My friend from afar, Winn Collier, wrote about thoughts like these this week. Here is the link - http://blog.winncollier.com/2009/10/on-preaching.html. Winn's thoughts pertain to preaching. I like that alot. You might say John, folks need to learn to be self-feeders. You know what? I believe that too. I also believe we're still living on this dark and bloody planet called Earth and flesh and blood needs flesh and blood and unless there's a new kind of human being born, which I sure as heaven don't believe there is, we still look to some to share with us what they've gleaned - the poets and the preachers and the singers...
Now I don't believe that means that sermons and studies and conferences and all other manner of jesuspalooza needs to go whacked-out-deep-and-heady; that'd just be the opposite but equal error. What is the good word? What are we consuming? What are we being fed? What are we feeding folks? This is the time of loaves and fishes...bless and break that stuff and the people might eat and be satisfied with baskets leftover. I read somewhere that happened once upon a time...