Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Ministry Among the Easily Offended

I'm in the middle of reading David Dark's new book "The Sacredness of Questioning Everything" and was totally intrigued by a chapter where he focusses in on our cultural predisposition to "being offended." Immediately faces emerged of church members and attenders over the years who were marked by their ability to be easily offended and instantly angry. Their spirituality was marked by a demand to have you be in agreement with them about a couple of banner issues: often political, economic, or social. The easily offended found it hard to maintain a conversation where their ideas were questioned or disagreed with. When that happened, the anger switch was flipped and opponents were dismissed as unworthy of future conversation or even love.
W. H Auden said "One thing, and one thing only, is serious: loving one's neighbor as one's self."


At 9:36 AM , Blogger Isaac Johnson said...

if no one else is going to...

you're a real jerk, ya know. what a terrible piece. I can't believe you wrote it. im so furious!


At 11:19 AM , Blogger donnjohnson said...

Thanks, I needed that!

At 9:00 AM , Blogger ed said...

The basis for anger is fear. People who are angry at the church, for example, are fearful that the familiar is changing or that what is changing they are incapable of accommodating. Often, angry people have a pattern of discontent over much of their life. Trying to fix that in the context of the church is a daunting task. Better left to the person to realize themselves how out-of-step they are with the rest of their world. A natural exclusion tends to take place in most social contexts. Since inclusion is part of the ministry outreach of the church this becomes a dilemma. Angry people are toxic and spoil the mix of people in any group. I say, let the group do its natural thing, in church or out of church. It could be called, "Natural Selection."


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