Saturday, January 27, 2007

The Price of Indifference


More from Miroslav Volf (Exclusion and Embrace - pg. 77):
"Strangely enough, the havoc wreaked by indifference may be even greater than that brought by felt, lived, practiced hatred. In Modernity and the Holocaust Zygmunt Bauman notes that mass destruction of Jews "was accompanied not by the uproar of emotions, but the dead silence of unconcern." Especially within a large-scale setting, where the other lives at a distance, indifference can be more deadly than hate. Whereas the fire of hatred flares up in the proximity of the other and then dies down, the cold indifference can be sustained over time, especially in contemporary societies."

Wow. I recognize that indifference in me. I struggle to really embrace people who aren't like me... I am trying to offer 'embrace' instead of 'exclusion' but it is a hard thing to do. The struggle is worth having though, considering the end results of indifference in the world (even in my neighbourhood). Miroslav offers some hope - Christ in me. Although our natural tendency is towards 'exclusion' (sin) our hope is in dying to ourselves and living unto Christ. That could be a cool measure of holiness... instead of how much do you 'stay away from the world' perhaps the question of holiness is how many people do I embrace?

This goes well with the soon to be published author Olivia Munn's take on the 1 Peter verse, "without holiness no one will see the Lord". Olivia suggests the verse makes perfect sense, because if other people don't see Jesus in us - how will they see Him at all?
Good take. So instead of holiness being an 'exclusionary' practise of Divine Control it becomes an effectious and open presence in the world of Grace (much more like the salt and light thing Jesus was on about?).

Just thinking outloud.

1 comment:

aaron white said...

It was a culture of indifference that allowed 50 or so women to go missing from the DTES.

The implicit question our society asked was: "What difference does it make to me if a prostitute disappears?"

The explicit answer was: "No difference at all."

When the well-being of others makes no difference to us we are prepared to let any evil befall them. But the well-being of others ought to have a direct impact on our own holiness.

Grace,

Aaron