On being silent

17Jul09

this talk (iTunes Store link) continues to challenge and inspire me. And here are a couple of reflection on it.

On the way into work I have listened to another 15-minutes (of the above podcast) on the church being relevant. The church, through the ages has worked hard to be relevant, so much so, that it has stood silent concerning (or even been a part of) terrible things. Sometimes we have to be so irrelevant, counter-cultural and at odds with prevailing society. Otherwise we run the risk of being silent.

Through the world and whether it is me locally or a world leader, this silence does nothing but condone the systematic abuse of the human face of God and his children on this earth.

The speaker states:

Change happens when prophets speak from a periphery, when small communities will not bow down to ‘Caesar’ and begin to offer radical alternative and you cannot always do that if you want to be relevant and acceptable. But you can do it if you want to be relevant and acceptable to the Kingdom of God.

I find myself agreeing completely.

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2 Responses to “On being silent”

  1. 1 ben

    I agree too.

    I work with and support MSF (Medecins Sans Frontieres); one of their ‘principles’ is ‘temoignage’, which comes from the French verb ‘temoigner’ (to witness). You can read more here: http://www.msf.org/msfinternational/invoke.cfm?component=article&objectid=F75AB4F5-E018-0C72-093A3A517D56EB33&method=full_html

    Fundamentally, we are also called to bear witness, ie we must be willing to speak out about what we see happening in front of us, especially when it relates to abuses and intolerable situations, and where those affected have ‘no voice’…

  2. 2 tobit

    ben, a great link, thanks. Bearing witness is so important. Sometimes we can bear witness by ‘standing’ silently (something hard to do on t’interweb as Shane Hipps describes). As an aside, I was thinking the other day about the people who line the streets when our dead solders come home. Would I take part if it happened in Exeter? I find myself thinking that I would, because for me, that would be an act of bearing witness to an intolerable situation.

    At work at the moment in one of my projects I find myself bearing witness to such huge pain and burden that people carry. It is hard.



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