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June 30, 2008

Thought for the day

I don't know a lot about anorexia and bulimia but I do know that they are fueled by a culture that glorifies being thin, and that those who purposely starve themselves have a false view of themselves as being overweight. They look in the mirror and see a fat person regardless of how thin they are.

The spiritual implications are obvious here as well. Our culture is awash in its own shallowness. We even glory in it. Shallowness and stupidity are celebrated in many of our most popular movies. I worry that as democracies begin to flourish around the world, it seems that the lifestyle of American culture goes along with them through the power of music and entertainment. We are exporting our own emptiness. And yet when we look at ourselves in a spiritual way, we look fat with so much cultural Christianity. Never in history has a culture looked more Christian while being so spiritually dead. We are, indeed, the spiritually anorexic.

In such a time, it is up to each of us to eat. Come to the table spread with God's mercy and open wide our arms to all those in our midst and welcome them to the feast. Realize our own hunger for God and identify with that hunger in everyone else. Cast off the fatty spirituality that loves the like-minded, and learn to demonstrate the true Kingdom of God in embracing the strangers and aliens among us. A table has been spread for the world. Pass by the coffee and donuts of our thinly veiled fellowship and come to this table spread with God's love for those outside. The world is starving, and we are starving too, and the food is right in front of us!

John Fischer, "The spiritually anorexic," June 26

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Sadly, the shallowness of our Western culture is exposed a bit when something like this happens: http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/06/30/model.death/index.html

Events that expose like that are happening all the time in the spiritual realm - often in battles over denomination or tradition. If only the word "revival" hadn't been conscripted to refer to a temporary Pentecostal emotional response, we could see its true meaning - reviving those who have fainted and are perishing, even though they were previously alive. Some living water, some bread of life, and we'll be OK again.

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