Flatlander Faith

Apologetics from an Anabaptist perspective

Rebels without a clue

I am struck at how clueless protest movements have become.

The “Occupy” folks seem to think it is the fault of government and business that they don’t have a job.  You worked hard and got your BA.  You apply for a job that seems to offer the pay and perks that you feel you deserve.  They ask about your work experience and you have to admit that you’ve never had a paying job in your life.

All the entry level jobs seem to have been taken by immigrants.  Who wants a job like that anyway?  Other immigrants are coming in who are trained welders and plumbers.  They are earning more money than you will ever make with your BA.  There must be someone you can blame for this mess you’re in.  So you and your friends set up tents in a park to complain about how unjust the system is.

Meanwhile, the immigrants who started out at the bottom are moving up to management level and even buying the business.  Moral?  Those who rebel against the supposed inequities of the system are getting nowhere, while others are going where the jobs are, working hard and succeeding.

Many of the Indian bands of Western Canada were making a good start at adapting to a settled society, until the government decided that they needed help.  That really botched things up.  It seems that in every generation the government realizes that their attempts to help the Indians are not working and they come up with a fresh idea on how to help them.  The “Idle No More” movement seems to think this is a good thing, but the government isn’t doing enough.

Meanwhile, some Indian bands are accountable and open for business.  There is a reserve not far from us that has a casino, a world class golf course, a tourist hotel and more jobs than can be filled by the band members alone.  There are at least four Indian owned gas bars in our nearest city, all are busy.  Other bands are in the forestry and construction businesses.  Moral?  You will get ahead faster by creating your own jobs.

The “Christian” scene is too confusing and depressing for a quick analysis.  The Christian book store that I frequently wander into is in the process of moving their displays of Christian music CD’s from a back corner to a more visible location closer to the front of the store.  One of the employees told me it is because too many CD’s have been walking out of the store without being paid for.  The rates of divorce, of cohabitation before marriage and of pornography addiction are not much different among those who call themselves Christian than among the population in general.  The most common form of rebellion is to just abandon organized Christianity.  The ranks of unattached, restless Christians are growing.  Are they finding life any more fulfilling outside an organized church?

“Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft.”  Rebellion doesn’t fix anything, because we are rebelling against the wrong thing.  Rebels see the faults in everything around them, go about to set things to right and in the end things are worse than they were before.

The thing that is most in need of fixing is inside of us – our heart.  The first step to fixing it is to admit that I am solely responsible for the mess that I am in; nobody else made me do the things I have done or make the choices I have made.  The second step is to admit that only God can help me now.  This is called repentance and will lead to a release from the burden of guilt, a new heart, a new vision of the meaning and purpose of life, and genuine freedom.

It doesn’t work to admit that I have done wrong and try to reform my life so that God will be pleased with me.  Neither does it work to try to claim God’s salvation without admitting any guilt on my part.  Salvation is a complete package, only available on God’s terms.

Two thousand years ago the world was in worse shape than it is today.  It was said of the disciples that they “turned the world upside down.”  Who says it can’t happen today?

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