"Having a blog is like wandering around your house naked with the windows open; it's all very liberating until someone looks in the window. However, while being caught unawares is one thing, it is quite another to stroll up to the window and press your naked, flabby body against the coolness of the glass in a hideous form of vertical prostration for all the world to see..." These posts are the smudges that are left behind on the window.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

The Product of Empty Space

I’ve had a few different thoughts rolling around in my head recently. There’s quite a bit of empty space in there, so they can roll around a long time before ever bumping into each other.
The other day I was looking at a blog post about homeschooling. The woman who wrote the post was justifying her decision to homeschool by telling the tragic story of a 15 year old who had frozen to death in her neighborhood as a result of bullying. She was trying to point out how awful public schools were and how she didn't want to subject her kids to that.
If you've read some of my other  posts, you will know that I'm not a fan of homeschooling. There are certain things I have been opposed to as long as I can remember, and homeschooling is one of them. I also don't believe in denominationalism,  or church membership. I was driving home the other day wondering why that is. Then it struck me: all these things have to do with separation. Either separation from other believers, or from the world. It's an us versus them attitude.
It’s evil. It’s wrong. It’s a sin.
Denominationalism says my brand of belief is better than yours; my beliefs are right and yours are wrong. Church membership says my church is better than yours; it says I'm part of the club and you aren't. Some churches even go so far as to say that if you aren’t a member you can’t serve. How arrogant is that? Homeschooling says my kids are better than yours, or perhaps more accurately, your kids are worse than mine and I don't want them influencing my kids.
The way most of us Christians live ours lives is with this undercurrent of isolation and separation. Denominationalism etc is only the visible sign of a much wider attitude. We have completely misunderstood the God given mandate to be in the world but not of it.
We go to our churches which are more like country clubs than anything. Our friends (true friends) are all from the  church.  Most of our social events surround the church. We even speak our own language. If we do interact with the world it's only to prosthelytize. 
This isn't what I  see Jesus doing when he goes out of his way to interact with the world. When he eats with tax collectors and sinners. When  he says it is not the healthy that need a doctor, but the sick. When he goes around healing everybody, but not getting them to say the sinners prayer. He's meeting them where they are, in their hurt and brokenness. He's announcing the coming of the Kingdom. He's saying that everybody is connected, and that those who understand that will help those that don't. When he says that we are not of the world, he’s not saying that we are somehow holier than everyone else, he’s saying that we are called to a higher standard - a kingdom standard - where people go the extra mile and turn the other cheek. Not where we separate ourselves from the world so we won’t get contaminated. Jesus touched the leper and and bleeding woman - people that would have made him unclean.
All this makes me wonder about that poor kid that froze to death. Where were the Christian kids in that school. Were they carrying on with their parents attitudes of isolation and separation? Did they even know that this kid was hurting? Did they stand up for him at all? Or were they more concerned about going to heaven when they died? Then I wonder how homeschooling helped this kid. What good did isolating this woman's kids from the evils of public school do for the kid who died? 


Perhaps the Christian kids who were there did nothing, but if your kids aren't even there, then there isn't even the possibility of helping someone in need. 
How is that good news for anyone?
If you want to read a good article that’s the antitheses of homeschooling read this article from Christianity Today.