Friday, August 14, 2009

I'm Embarrassed

A Facebook friend just posted the Seven Deadly Social Sins by Gandhi -- Politics without Principle; Wealth without Work; Commerce without Morality; Pleasure without Conscience; Education without Character; Science Without Humanity; & Worship without Sacrifice.

I studied extra years in seminary so that I could communicate more effectively as a Christian. And yet, not once in those additional years of schooling or the two decades of my professional life when I was attempting to help other believers communicate about their faith did I encounter this succinct collection of truths.

I may have made As but reading this post today made me feel as though I had failed as a student. So I did what any good knowledge seeker does these days -- I Googled for more.

I was linked to a series of sermons by Dr. Barbara Hulsing, an American Baptist, who I've never met but to whom I owe a thank you. She brought me back to my own roots by graciously quoting a very familiar name from my past:

Phil Strickland, once executive director of the Baptist General Convention of Texas’ Christian Life Commission died in 2006. Not long before his death, he delivered a speech entitled, “Where Have All the Prophets Gone?”

In this speech, he said, “Prophesy requires the capacity to grieve about injustice, to quit pretending that things are all right, to imagine that things could be different and courageously to say so to the people, risking the consequences. It requires confronting the principalities and the powers. For compassion to move to action requires an alliance of love, power, and justice . . . [T]he prophet must be imaginative. One does not prophesy about what is but what ought to be.”

I know that picking up my blog again wasn't simply a matter of seeking a creative outlet. I had given up my voice in more ways than staying away from a keyboard. I had settled for "whatever" because I had tired of doing whatever it takes.

I'm embarrassed because I stopped seeking new thoughts. I'm embarrassed because I stopped thinking about what ought to be. I'm embarrassed but I'm not dead.

So today I begin. Gandhi is a pretty good guide. Google isn't going anywhere (and if it does Bing tells me it's ready to assist.) I'm not sure where my love, power, and justice will take my compassion just yet. But I, The Fallen, am getting off my ass.

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