Sunday, December 07, 2003

Blessed are the cynical

Through some conversations last week, a mirror was thrust in my face and the revelation came that the man staring back at me was a cynic of the harshest degree. Am I really so negative, critical and judgmental? Indeed, I am, it appears. Four years of charismatic indoctrination at the university level, and yes, I am cynical.

And that bothers me.

It bothers me because it does not bring peace. It doesn't bring joy. In fact, Paul fails to even mention cynicism in the fruits of the Spirit--those attributes evidenced in a life submitted to Jesus. You don't exactly point to the cranky cynic and say, "Hey, I want to be like that guy. Give me some of what he's got!" No sir. I'd much prefer a man at peace with himself, with God and with those around him to emulate.

But then I find this interview with Pete Rollins (found via The Dying Church):
Be cynical. The original cynics where a dusty group of people who questioned ethics not because they hated ethics but because they loved ethics so much. They questioned God and religion not because they where sceptical but because they where obsessed with God and religion. Questioning God is not questioning God, but only questioning 'God' - in other words our understanding of God.

I venture to say that I am "obsessed with God and religion." Thus, I should hope that it is my passion for Christ and his Church that drives me to hate all that diminishes their power and glory on the earth. I should hope it is not the Holy Spirit I am cynical of, but the abuse and self-promotion I see. I should hope it's not the Church I am cynical of, but the shallow consumerism and spiritual masturbation I see.

Cynicism is like a knife. In the hands of a skilled surgeon, it is a tool that excises disease and expedites healing. In the hands of an amateur, or worse yet, one motivated by anger, it is an agent of injury and even death.

Lord, I submit my cynicism into your hands. Please, don't let me whack off any digits of the Body of Christ.

I need to find out exactly who Mr. Rollins is.

posted by Peter at 10:52 PM
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