Friday, February 1, 2013

Growing Tired of Cynicism

This morning in the USA Today, a full page advertisement simply read "Slavery Still Exists" and had a short description about how many people in our modern, progressive world are still enslaved. At the bottom of the page was a link to www.enditmovement.com, where more information can be found concerning the plight of modern slaves. I first heard of this movement a few months ago and then it got a lot of traction at the annual Passion conference when it was announced to thousands of young evangelicals all wanting to do their part to make a difference.

I'm excited about the idea we might be the generation to finally put an end to the Sex-trade, to finally complete the work of emancipation that started hundreds of years ago. In 960, the Doge of Venice Pietro IV Candiano was the first Christian leader to abolish slavery legally. Since then we have been a people marked, for better or worse, by the way we respond to this call to set the captives free. In the United States, there was a time it was perfectly normal to think of slavery as a biblically justified practice, but we have fortunately progressed past those days and hopefully are standing on the threshold of a new collective consciousness of equality for all people.

A new problem has become apparent to me. It's a problem I see in myself and many of my peers. When I first heard about the End It movement, my initial reaction wasn't excitement, it was cynicism. "Oh, cool a movement," I thought, "let's see how long we're excited about this."

Cynicism is the worst enemy of Christian action. It seems harmless as we tweet derisive comments or make fun of someone for taking a chance or making a stand, but really we are just acting from a place of insecurity. We act like we know everything and anyone acting different from us--braver than us--is just some sort of weirdo. I'm the worst offender of this. I make fun of Christians in my head or out loud on a daily basis. I run down their ministries or think I have some better answer for how to do church when in actuality I'm just scared I'm not as brave as them.

Cynicism is pain disguised in fabricated wisdom or humor. We want to look like we have the answers so we make snarky comments about weirdos or anyone who doesn't fit into what we think is cool or acceptable behavior. When someone tells us about a "miracle" in their lives, we are quick to want to qualify the word "miracle" instead of rejoicing that to this person, Jesus' resurrection is still a daily reality.

The End It movement is a force for good in the world and cynicism is not. As I press on to understand more of how to live the mystical union I know Christianity to be, I have to put my cynicism to death. I have to completely surrender to the excitement of the new things God is doing in the world and I have to rejoice in daily miracles. Seeing God in everything is easy, but you have to be looking for Him.

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About Drew

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A follower of Jesus, trying to build myself and others up from the inside out.