Saturday, March 24, 2012

An Odd People

Some more thoughts from Dan Boone’s book, “Seven Deadly Sins: the Uncomfortable Truth.”

“[Christians] are odd in a different sort of way. Odd like God.It is not an oddity that rages at the world and its wrongs.It is not an oddity that takes our marbles home in a sulking retreat into our private, protected, holy castles and away from the world.It is not an oddity that decides to get enough Christians to vote for the same guy or girl so we can take over the government and be in power.It is not an oddity that competes with the world for the most money, sex appeal, idol status, or fame in order to prove that we are just as good as them.

It is an oddity that we are rooted in likeness to Jesus. And this oddity cannot be reproduced by those given to a life of sin.

Take the seven deadly sins.
Anger is our response to loss or threat or hindrance.
Envy is a signal that we deserve as good as they got and won’t be happy until we gain or they lose.
Gluttony is filling our emptiness with whatever it takes to stuff and numb.
Sloth is our right to do or not to do as we please without being nagged.
Pride explains that your life is meant to be centered on me and I won’t settle for anything less.
Lust is routinely marketed and bodies do what bodies choose to do.
Greed is culturally expected in a consuming world.

What is impressive is holiness – because it is so rare, so odd, so uncommon in a world of sin.

Instead of anger, imagine a people who turn their passion into justice and peace-making.
Instead of envy, imagine a people who actually rejoice in another’s good fortune rather than being lessened by it.
Instead of gluttony, imagine a people who actually practice eating as a sacred act of community trust in God. Or who fast from consuming as an act of receiving life from God.
Instead of sloth, imagine a people who are zealous to do good works and who refuse sloppy thinking because it is an affront to the One who created them.
Instead of pride, imagine a people who humbly lay down their lives in service to others. Imagine a people who live selflessly with God at the center of their attention and put others in peripheral view.
Instead of lust, imagine a people who abstain from sexual intercourse until they are married, because they view the act as a sacred bonding of flesh to flesh, life to life.
Instead of greed, imagine a people who sit prayerfully with their checkbooks asking diving guidance on where the money should go. Imagine a people who stop working and accumulating once every seven days simply because their God told them to rest on Sabbath.

This is an odd people with odd practices in a world very unlike them. Are you open to being this odd?”

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