Sunday, July 03, 2005

Dave Dobbyn

(Yiss he has a blog! how COOL is that. It's here. Also, and equally importantly, my older sister now has a blog, and I like it. It's here)

Church tonight, sung again - that makes it three. Yeah, worship team is not what I expected, but I'm trying to take it all in my stride. Sometimes church makes me wanter to loiter around on the fringes. But church can't just be a club, it has to be a community or there's no point. So we must (a) plunge in and get ourselves involved and (b) BE the change we want to see in the [church].

And now for the eternal perspective part of my ravellings. We believe that the world is not our home - we are just apassing through. What happens on earth, therefore, only really has value as it pertains or is important in heaven.

What I mean is this. I care about poverty, I want to do something with my life to make it better. Mostly and initially this has been about the poor - My heart has been broken for the poor and I feel an intense calling to do something to make their lives better. BUT I also care about poverty because I love the West. From an eternal perspective, poverty is in some sense more detrimental to the West than it is to to poor. The poor wont be held responsible for their poverty, it's not their fault. It is, however, by both commission and omission, a sin of the West. Thus, if poverty is to truly be eliminated, it is not the poor, or not ONLY to poor who must change - we must also change the West.

That is one example of the way that I think the modern church or the modern world lacks an eternal perspective. Do ya get it? Am I making sense here?


Iain said...

We believe that the world is not our home - we are just apassing through. What happens on earth, therefore, only really has value as it pertains or is important in heaven.

I believe the world is my home.
I believe that God is going to restore humanity and all of creation, that has been groaning for renewal since the Fall.

I believe that Revelation 21(?) shows the imagery of the New Jerusalem descending to earth. I believe that the numerical symbolism of this city, a perfect square the size that some ancient people believed was the size of the whole earth, shows a new holy of holies that brings all of Creation into it. It shows God and creation together, not a small separated pocket of perfection shut off from the rest of us.

I know that you don't indicate this particular conclusion from what you say, but people use the "just passing through" argument to say that nothing matters, that poor don't matter, that our actions don't matter (since it's all up to God), that being a good steward of the environment doesn't matter (since it's all being "burnt up").

To summarize, if we are going to live forever then eternity starts NOW, not later ('death' is a continuing not a beginning).

On the other hand, I totally agree with your comment about poor being the fault of the Rich. If I have two of what you have none of, and watches you die for lack of it, then there should be little doubt that I had a part of your death.

One thing I pointed out to Frank, when I saw Live8 with him and Rhett, was that helping the generic poor of Africa will only go so far when we still have examples of richer countries with extremely poor and extremely rich living side-by-side. Those countries don't suffer for lack of money, they suffer for lack of fair and proper "distribution" (to risk using a word that the anti-marxist police will lynch me for).

A. J. Chesswas said...

I get it Sharyn, good thoughts.

Also good thoughts Iain.

SubversNZ said...

I too care about the West.

I care that NZ may end up like the Two-Thirds World.

And, I fear that the West will be held accountable for the impoverishment of the Two-Thirds World.

The challenge of being the church is, I think, trying to live out the values of eternity now.

Simona said...

I agree Sharyn,
Eternity is what matters, earth is very temporary, at least as it is now. In the space of forever, eighty years (If we are lucky) is not that long. I too worry that the west will be held accountable for what has happened. I guess they/we should be.

I don't think earth is our least not as it is now. And Iain...I guess in a way death is a continuation but it is definately a beginning too. our spirits continue but our new bodies, our new perfection, our knew knowledge of God...most things will be a beginning.

Heaven is my home is in no way a good excuse for not caring about the poor. It is all the more reason to care about the poor...because everyone's final destination is MOST important. And while those people suffer so much they have less opportunity to search for God and the west continue to sin in SUCH a way. We need an eternal perspective even more because of this.