Thursday, October 26, 2017

Shoddy Theology

We spend our days surrounded by shoddy theology, although we may not realize it as shoddy.  Just after Hurricane Irma, I was amazed by all the Facebook posts I saw that were so self-congratulatory, so proud of all the sincere prayers we offered up that our coast be spared--and see, prayer works!

So, does that theology mean that the people in Big Pine Key just didn't know how to pray?  Did God hear those prayers and laugh cruelly and bam--that island was wiped out?

We spend our days surrounded by shoddy theology, although we may not realize it as theology.  A few days ago, a coworker said something along the lines of, "You can't always stay comfortable.  You won't grow that way." 

I said, "But what if that kind of growth is overrated?  What if we push ourselves out of our comfort zones, and we end up mangled and broken?"

We spent some time talking about personal growth and development, and I posited that maybe our highest good didn't come from improving ourselves.  I got a blank look and then this comment:  "Maybe improving our finances?"

I said, "Maybe we should be thinking in terms of how we serve others.  Maybe that's how true self-improvement happens, when we focus on what others need."

I understand the danger of this theology--that way martyrdom lies, or the dangers of being abused by sociopaths and perverts.  But I am also worried about how many people in this country don't seem to be thinking of the greater good.

I try not to chime in too often.  I don't want to be that colleague/Facebook friend that people avoid because she's always undermining our aphorisms and mottos that make the world easier to understand.  But some days, I can't take the shoddy thinking one more minute.  Some days, I want us all to engage each other--and life--with more depth.

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