Play Nice

If there was one word that could describe me as a child, it would be "compliant." I wasn't a trouble-maker. I never threw tantrums. And for the most part, I sat quietly and played by myself. Lego's were my thing, and I needed little else to be content. I was what many parents would call a "good" kid. They never had to worry about their kids interacting with me because I was never mean or a bully. I played nice.

Because there's never any reason to not, right? Even if the other kid doesn't: play nice. Even if the other kid picks on you: play nice. Even if the other kid physically abuses you: play nice. This is the world of civilized adulthood. Since, as we all know, none of you with children would ever approach the parents of your child's bully without first remembering to play nice.

I've said a lot of negative things about the modern church. That's because it's an ignorant, hypocritical, and power-hungry institution. But this time I'm talking to the postmodern church, the church of tomorrow. A complacent, antinomian, self-involved community. Pacifism is in. Tolerance is trending. And I'm sick of it.

photo credit: Mike Knapek via photopin cc
Our parents were fighters. They were the kids on the playground who when they got pushed, they knocked the other kid down. They were ambitious and driven. They struggled to not only provide necessities for their families but for opportunities they never had. How many of us never paid a cent toward our college educations? And let's not forget: they saw war. Not cowardly terrorist actions. Real, international war that threatened our own soil.

We grew up a little differently. We never had to fight. Playground squabbles were broken up more often through increased spending on social services. Jobs were recreational and negotiated by our parents. College was paid for. Grad school was paid for. And many of us are still living in our parents' basement. Most millennials haven't had to fight for a single thing in their lives. And it shows.

It's as if the hippies have been reincarnated. Because we're all lovers, not fighters. Only problem is that hippies suck and there are some battles that love can't solve. Now that's a truth our generation refuses to swallow.

Because Jesus was a pacifist, right? He solved the sin problem through love, not war. At this point, it doesn't matter how literally you take the prophecies in Revelation: the bloody imagery of Christ's return is not the prophecy of a pacifist God. Whether or not blood as high as a horse's head is analogous, the emphasis remains that God does not intend to love everyone into submission. There comes a time when enough is enough.

Every generation has values. And more often than not, those values are a reaction to the values of the previous generation. But just because our parents seemed like warmongers against everything from culture to Islam, that doesn't mean that pacifism is any better. Sometimes we have to fight back. Sometimes we do have to stand up for what we believe--so long as the motive isn't maintaining the political status of our faith. If we don't believe this, then we best invest in more healthcare. Because our kids are going to be in the hospital a lot.

Comments

  1. I love this post; your thoughts are very well written. It makes me want to creep back over to my own blog and write more on it in general.

    I agree that our generation's attitude is a reaction to that of our parents, and that's natural. Acknowledging this truth often causes me to swing back and forth between fond acceptance of who we are as a culture, and believing that evil is only finding a prettier wolf-skin dress with every passing day. I often wonder where I will have landed 5 years from now.

    Thanks for the thought-provoking post!

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    Replies
    1. Glad you appreciated it! I just hope the church's pendulum will learn to swing less hard as we seek to make Christ known globally and throughout the coming ages.

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