Saturday, April 02, 2005

What Does a Proclaimer Look Like?

I would say there are two types of proclaimers.

There is what looks like an Old Testament prophet, who using one of Brant's words, would have been considered a freak. The OT Prophet, say Jeremiah, was outraged that his country was not following God's commands. He used a PETA trick and walked a bit naked. (maybe I'm wrong about that, I can't find a reference.)

Then there was the other, which sometimes Paul emulated. I think of it as an incarnation. Paul would become a Greek to the Greeks and a slave to the slaves. This proclaimer would start with lost person's argument and work from there to where God would want them to be.

I work almost always from the second type. I have to remind myself that there is certainly a place for the "freak." If there was no freak, the lost person might not realize there is a conversation to be had.

But I don't believe the nation is going to move back toward God directly from the work of the freaks. The lost aren't going to suddenly realize, "Oh we are killing babies." I do think abortion is murder, but that isn't where I start the conversation.

Brant said in a comment:

Honestly, I would love to know how, in a good, persuasive, yet pomo way, one would briefly put the following: "An innocent woman is right now being killed in a horrific way, and our love of ourselves is doing it. This is wrong, and we have to do something about it."

Seriously -- I'm not being flippant. Please try this.

I'm not a good enough writer for that.

Here is a quick stab. It may be awful, but I'll try.

Whatever life Terri Schiavo has is being ended without her consent. There is no doubt that most of us would question the quality of the life she is living and most would agree that they would not want to live that life. But it does beg the question, "What is life?" Is life only what we can experience and feel? Is life lost when physical freedom is lost? Or is there something more to life that we often miss because of all that surrounds us? If we were Terri Schiavo (or Christopher Reeve), we would be forced to take a closer look at this question. And while it seems horrorific to think about being in such a position, it just might give us an enlighted sense of the sacredness of life, the sacredness of God.

Outrage did not stop Terri from dying. My hope is that incarnational conversation may help to stop the next death.

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