I started reading Brian McLaren’s book last night, everything must change. The title is a quote from a young woman, living in Rwanda post-genocide, and that, I think, explains it all.
McLaren says that we, as Christians, are not asking the right questions. We get caught up in world and church politics, and start trying to resolve issues that may not be resolved. We get distracted. My husband, Nicholas, said a few years ago after a long, slow and tedious day on a church pew, listening to scholars debate the issue of homosexuality and the Christian response, “Can’t anyone see that this is a red herring?” A red herring is false bait, a trail made of something very noticeable to lead the hounds off the true scent. We waste our time in endless debate, instead of coming to a conclusion, because we play it as politics and not as the Word of God. We go haring down the wrong path, all inflated and excited with our own erudition and sense of infallibility.
We are asking the wrong questions.
What are the right questions? I’d start with “Are we listening to the Holy Spirit?” And “Can’t we do better than this?” and especially when we know that we can feed the world, clothe the naked and heal the sick with the resources we have now. But we are so busy enjoying the shopping mall, the big car and enough processed goodies to sink a battleship (which would be a good idea) that we can’t imagine giving up what we have so that others may have enough just to survive. We are not asking the right question – why are we doing it this way?