Thursday, December 15, 2011

Is There Enough Contrast to Draw Attention?

This may be a case of “going right to get left”. I know where the thought is going but I may be going around the block to get there. So, please process the entire thought before forming an opinion.

The trend in education when I left that field (six months ago) was minimizing distractions and making the environment as business like as possible. The hope was to limit the range and number of items available and direct the student's focus toward the lesson being presented. Teachers had been instructed and encouraged to “remove personal items” from their classrooms and told to keep “classroom decor” as generic as possible. My experience has shaped my perception, but, from my perspective, bold colors and engaging personalities were being replaced by a bland, “milk toast” mediocrity that presented a “one-size fits all” approach to the education and socialization of children.

Then magically as those same children become adults, we (society at large) expected to see creative, enthusiastic, and productive adults engaged in transforming the world they have inherited. That in a “nut shell” (or my opinion) was the state of affairs in American education, but how is the Church any different?

I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark.” John 12:46 (NLT)

Our challenge as the Church is to continually shine the light of Christ into the world around us and dispel the evil. Overcoming evil with good is our objective; yet, we (the Church) so seek the approval and acceptance of the “world” that we “water down” the doctrine and “back peddle” our positions to the point that no one can distinguish us for the culture around us. We have given up the bold contrast of colors that creates the beauty with in the “Body of Christ” and traded it for a godly form of mediocrity settling for “sameness” rather than employing the diversity of gifts God chose to make available to us.

“Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” 2 Timothy 3:4-5 (KJV)

Michele and I live in a community that embraces and expects bold color and unique “yard art” to decorate and distinguish one house from the next. The interior of those homes are, no doubt, as unique and colorful as they appear outwardly, but somehow people appreciate and accept freedom of expression in EVERY AREA except FAITH. People in the Chruch have confused the beauty of contrast with the destructive influence of contradiction.

The Church is made up of individuals drawn together to worship God through the diversity of their gifts and callings. As each member contributes a gift in vibrant contrasting color, God paints the master piece that displays His glory. The question we must answer together revolves around how our gifts can compliment and strengthen the mission of this “Body of Christ”. Individually we must address the questions of where and how to best offer our gifts for the “common good” both within the community of FAITH and to the “world”.

It has recently come to my attention that education, at least in Yuma County, has begun to work toward recreating and updating educational practices. Teachers, administrators, parents and students are actively engaged in finding workable solutions to the real life problems facing education. Is the Church willing to take a critical look at our FAITH and PRACTICE? Individually as Christians is there enough contrast to draw the “worlds” attention?

“Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” Galatians 6:1 (KJV)

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