its not easy to please everyone, and i often find myself in the position of not being understood or appreciated by certain segments of the church. many of you are in the same position.
the first group that doesnt understand us much is the traditional church. they feel comfortable in their diagnosis that we are philososphically relativist, consumeristic, materialist, out to change their churches for the worse and lead the young people into an unethical way of living. when we show them that they are wrong, that in fact our ethical standards reach into areas previously ignored by them, and that we take a stand against consumerism more than they ever did, when we explain these things to them, they are often disappointed with us. they sometimes wish that we actually WERE all those things rather than have us blow up their stereotypes, forcing them back to the drawing board.
Example – i get criticized for dressing up at conferences (which i like to do) and using grids on web sites (which i like to do) by older people who have been told differently. i end up apologizing to everyone and wondering why i am so apologetic.
the other group that gets disappointed is the newly postmodern, those that have recently left the church, the cool groups on the edge who have an ax to grind and base their identity on their rebellion against the norm. They are frustrated with us because we are not angry like them, or that we are not “edgy”
Example – some bikers at the Wabi Sabi event last year in Austin told me that it was “not edgy”.
. . . well excuuuuuuse me for getting healed!
. . . excuuuuse me for loving the church.
i understand where they are coming from and was probably there for a few years myself. But i and many of my friends feel we have come through all that and and on the other side of that stage.
this is why many of the postmodern labels do not stick to us, upsetting the traditionals that are hurling the criticisms and watching them fall off us, and upsetting the disgruntleds that are so tied up in their new identity as rebels that they are not able to appreciate those further down the tunnel or those who are choosing to rebuild, rather than tear down.
Case in point. At a recent alternative Christian Festival in Germany, a friend came with us. She used to attend the Festival when she was Goth and found wide acceptance. But now that her journey had matured and she dressed with color, she got some flak for not being Goth anymore.
its hard to keep people happy when they wish we would settle in to the sterotypes they create and JUST STAY THERE.
all that to say, that i think it will be important over the next 2 years for those in the same stage i am in to write about their experience, giving definition to where we are and how it is different from what is currently being misunderstood.
i have done some of this in my 3 stages of postmodernity, but not enough.
sorry – i am not making much sense, and dont have time to go over this to make it any more legible. i am in a library and am now getting back to writing my book. hopefully it will be more congruent that what i have just written.
congruent – thats a good word.