Saturday, October 10, 2009

Beyond Smashing Things

Julie Clawson, one of my favorite bloggers right now, recently posted a thoughtful piece on "Smashing Economic Idols" that raises some interesting questions. When fellow Christians tell you to be careful about loving your neighbor, because it could lead to socialism, that's probably a sign that loyalties to an economic system trump loyalties to the Gospel.

But I hope we can get beyond such violent and negative imagery and try to positively motivate people to love God and their neighbor. One of my goals in writing the book was to sketch out alternative practices that demonstrate what it looks like to live hopefully and to live "love-fully" (is that word?). I think people are already doing this all over the world: they are creatively and joyfully creating political, economic, and cultural alternatives. And these alternatives demonstrate what it looks like to love God and love your neighbor through your daily life.

Our family, for the first time, is really getting into home gardening and farmers' markets. We're really enjoying the many conversations we have each week at the downtown Canton farmers' market. We've fallen in love with the apples and peaches from Arrowhead Orchard--and we really like the people there. We've also fallen in love with the house bread from Broken Rocks Cafe and Bakery--sold out of a stall at the market. It's amazing! We loved the bread so much that we decided to eat at the restaurant, and we had a wonderful lunch there two weeks ago. The couple that started Broken Rocks have young children and are originally from Michigan.

We're getting to know our neighbors, and we're getting more connected to our local area. It's fun and joyful; it's better for the earth; and it's living against the grain of the System. I love what Hendrik Berkhof says about resisting the system:

“All resistance and every attack against the gods of this age will be unfruitful, unless the church . . . demonstrates in her life and fellowship how men can live freed from the Powers. We can only preach the manifold wisdom of God to Mammon if our life displays that we are joyfully freed from his clutches.”


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