The Winds of Revolution

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The following paragraphs are taken from one of my postings for grad school. The source of reflection is the book, "Grasping for the Wind" by John Whitehead. Some details may not be clear at first, but hopefully everything will make sense by the end. It definitely provoked my thoughts. - Doug

In the chapter on the "Winds of Revolution" I was intrigued by the general theme that was presented in that chapter that "what goes around comes around." On page 186 in the caption of Tom Hayden describing what was stated in the Port Huron Statement and the ideology of the New Left, there was a strong urge to resist the "American Materialistic Machine." As I read this, I was thinking to myself that this might have been their ideology of the 1960's, but where is that ideology now? Sure enough, Whitehead comes back to this at the end of the chapter in his section, "Hippies to Yuppies." Those who had taken such a prominent stand against the establishment had become, themselves, the establishment. I doubt that this turn of events was in their plans when their ideology was first drawn up.

I'm just thinking out loud here, but it seems to me that this ties in primarily to society's search for an identity. I think it may have even been mentioned in this chapter...something to the tune of "we don't care what we become as long as its different than you (the establishment)." If you were at NCYM, you may have had the chance to hear John York's early morning presentation on "Identity." I just recently heard the presentation on cd and I was drawn back into the history of Protestantism and how our very name indicates that our identity has been shaped as a "protest" to the establishment. We've certainly not let go of that pattern, have we?

Over and over again, we have seen the pattern. Someone abuses someone else. That someone else hates the abuser and everything they stand for, but by some evil trick of the mind the abused in one generation becomes the abuser for the next generation. Certainly the winds of revolution are blowing in our churches and this needs to be handled with extreme care or we may just perpetuate the cycle of "abuse."

How about change being about how we can look more like Christ rather than how the postmodern church can distinguish itself from the modern church? Our identity is too easily manipulated by circumstance and our emotional reactions to a stimulus. I don't mind being a part of a postmodern church, but let's make sure it is for the right reasons and not a reaction to our frustrations with the establishment.

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