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Sunday, July 10, 2005

Adjusting our lens and hearing aids

I have a few foundations that I hold for myself, not in creedal, dogmatic, or systematic form but more in a flexible, magnanimous, and sporadic form. They are more like virtues of life, if you will, that I try to follow. One that I have is, seeing beyond categories. I apologize if this comes off harsh but I am vehemently opposed to the injustice that is done to individuals and groups that are generalized and then marginalized because of whatever lineage, category, party, context, race, religion, etc that they are in or resonate with. Great example, what if I were to say "all conservative are tight asses." That is simply not true. Not all conservatives advocate or hold the same beliefs. There are extremities within each category and the pendulum swings on both sides. What I am saying here is: Southeast Emergent has to see beyond labels and categories. We have to be the people of GOD who see people for who they are in GOD's lens. My professor and mentor guided me in this. He taught that we have to move beyond the categories that determine who's in and who's out. The categories that reinforce schismatic behavior and exclusive mindsets. In our pluralistic culture we have to see the mosaic of the kingdom and call out and affirm the things of GOD. I think the initial course of this is with our speech. What is our speech and communication conveying and articulating to those that are within the kingdom and those that we are inviting? I think a gem for me has been Nancey Murphy's book. Our pluralistic culture is eradicating these predilections and compartments that we love to create and making it more and more difficult to know and confine people and knowledge. I think this is the chemotherapy that we need now seeing in retrospect what we have done with comparmentalizing people into groups and labeling them "good and bad." Guess what? Both sides think they are "good" and the other is "bad", so what progress can we get from that? None. We need to see beyond the labels and categories that we find them in and see what GOD is saying and doing through them. We need to see them not as different from us, but very similar to us. We need to see them through GOD's lens. I often hear people equate Islamic fundamentalism to murder and terrorism. This is syllogism that is very deceptive. Not all within Islamic fundamentalism believe everything everyone believes, so how can we categorize them? Not all blacks listen to hip hop. Not all are like all. We just need to listen harder and see deeper. We have to refrain from labeling, stamping, boxing, and writing people or groups off as a mass production and saying "they are all the same." We each have something to say and something GOD desires to be heard in liberals, conservatives, democrats, Hindus, bisexuals, and so on. There is something beyond that surface that GOD is whispering and we have to be willing to hear and search for it attentively. We are part of great misunderstanding that is hindering the kingdom of GOD, not ushering it in. When we draw a line in the sand we pick sides. When the GOD-man draws a "line" in the sand, we all are on one side. To emerge, we need to move beyond our categories that have only split the people, and that involves making alterations to our vocabulary and how we articulate. The old or new seeds that are coming to fruition have to be aware of what garden they are in and be sensitive to that context. The garden we are in now, has not tolerance for senescent labels, and they must be dismantled. I leave with this quote from Leopold von Ranke "Every age is immediate to God, for in every age the Divine desires to realize itself, and is unable to show itself in it's entirety in any single era." Not only do I believe that to have relevance and significance in eras (time periods), and stages of our individual development, but in people other than ourselves. We just need to adjust our lens and hearing aids to the focus and tune of GOD.

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Blogger Rich said...

Amen and amen. Great post Kyle...

7/10/2005 04:43:00 PM


Blogger David Best said...

Good job Kyle, Nice

Speaking of drawing lines. Just out of curiosity, how come W. Virginia gets left off the map at the top? I’m not from the south, or W. Virginia, so maybe this is obvious to everyone but me. Again, just curious.

7/12/2005 02:03:00 PM


Blogger Kyle said...

Because we don't like them ;)
I would guess them to be "categorized" into the northeast.

7/12/2005 03:57:00 PM


Blogger john o'keefe said...

great posting :)

and now to the question of "w. virginia" - i did a web search for maps of "the southeast" and a grip came up - so i took the one i liked, and used it for the graphics - so, the question is not "why did we leave it out?" but why did the map makers leave it out? :) it's all good bro - if you want "in" just email me and let me know - invite is just a email away :)

7/12/2005 10:04:00 PM


Blogger David Best said...

Thanks John,

I'm not from the SE, nor have I spent any time there, so I'll decline any official "in" status, but since hitting it off with Kyle, I'll be around.

Again, no biggy on the map, just curious.

7/14/2005 12:45:00 AM


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