I’m not the most diligent blogger, yet, but the latest comment by Alan Knox at The Assembling of the Church has hit an appreciative nerve, so I suggest it is worth following up.
Thanks Alan for enabling, via your comments, the connection with the Phil Wyman article. I followed up by finding his web site as well as the Randy Seiver site.
We had a lot of contact with the hippy culture here in Australia and found that an attitude of respect for where they were at, both spiritually and in life, opened doors to further conversation. It would not be stretching the point too far to say that most in the alternate life styles were alienated from “normal” society in general, and especially Christians, by the elitist attitudes displayed by those who despised their "difference" in very vocal and public ways. I know that much of this was because “normal” Christians didn’t know how to accept them as members of the same society in which they lived.
These, mostly young, people had seen through the stupidity of many of the material values held by most Christians. They questioned the value of a society which held some people as of more worth than others, many of them knew about an historic Jesus who went about doing good and serving others, who valued all people equally, and who put no value on material things apart from the good use they could serve. They wondered why a people, who invoked His name as precious, spent hundreds of dollars on finery to be displayed on Sunday, why most of the money they gave went to building ostentatious buildings, or paying speakers huge amounts of money, to travel long distances, to speak about the very same things as the local preachers spoke about.
On the other hand, these “alternates”, or “ferals”, as most “normal” people knew them, had such a high understanding of community , that the idea of community demonstrated by the Christians actually paled into insignificance. It might sound a little far fetched, but I learned that many had higher moral and ethical standards than any Christian would concede.
Christians, in our great brown land, have lost sight of the one thing which places all society on one level, that we are all sinners, and that the “good works” with which we try to prove our Christianity to God and men, are still foul, stinking rags in the eyes of our holy God. It is generally forgotten that every one of us was in the same spiritually unwashed state as those who are deemed irredeemable.
Until we clearly see ourselves as being of the same needy, Adamic stock as unbelievers, and still, with Paul, doing the things we ought not, and not doing the things we ought, we will be miserable disciple makers. We will not do that until leaders get off their thrones, and set the pace for those they lead by demonstrating leadership rather than lordship. How do I know? I've been there and mixed with others who were, and still are, there!