I have been thinking about humanities relationship to sin as both victim and perpetrator. In my New Testament theology class we watch House of Sand and Fog, which was to serve as a way to see just how intertwined we all really are in this organic complex we call sin. The point of watching this movie was also to understand that sin as pride, or intentionally disobeying God, doesn’t come close to grasping the dynamics of sin in this world. I might post on the movie later, for now you just need to go watch. Ask yourself when the movie ends, “who sinned, this man or his parents?” You’ll understand when you get there.
Now, back to what I was saying about being a victim and a perpetrator. I just received an email from Nazarene Compassionate Ministries. It’s one they send out to everyone who is interested. This email stated the good news that the Church of the Nazarene has surpassed one million members in world mission’s areas. It’s good news the many are becoming followers of Jesus. However, I am concerned about the disunity inherent in the language. The “world” of “world missions” completely excludes the United States! I am not really going to go into this. I just wanted to point out that when we create statistic like this we further fuel our participation in this organic complex of sin. We create opportunities to be the victims of sins ripple effects. Likewise, we become the perpetrators that oppress those who are forced to identify themselves as the “world” of “world missions” by placing our selves (the U.S. Nazarenes) at the top as the ones who have all the answers, thus the one’s who can be missional.
I will hold my comments about the decline in U.S. Nazarene membership for another day.