Exploring the Social Imagination

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Sky is the Sky Wherever You Go

Is the sky the sky wherever you go? One can make the argument that it is physically. But, since we live our lives in the social imagination - the only reality there is as it contains information we need and the meaning in that information that sustains us, it is not so certain that the sky is the sky.

Hence, after we examine the many different geographies on the face of the earth and the people that occupy them, it is not certain that the sky is the sky. Native American Indians look at the sky differently, there are many words for its color and behavior. Many western minded people, busy people, working people barely look up at the sky and contemplate it's nature, its importance. There sky is just there for them.

I heard a native man use the word phrase "before the contact". They mean before white man, western man, came and brought their ways of thinking, their religion, their business. The native man said before the contact our life was good. Mmm before medicine, before religion, before money. Yes. How is that they who have nothing fear nothing. How is that they who have only themselves to communion with and only their Creator to rely on live better? This native man also said he and his people don't want 'their' oil company or stick houses or medicine. We want to live and die our way. Imposing your sky on someone else is wrong.

In this instance, the sky cannot be the sky wherever you go. Was Livingstone wrong then to go to Africa? Are missionaries wrong for going into the jungles to reach indigenous peoples so that they hear the Good News of the one true God? We may wonder what drives missionaries? Is it the same God that the native man worships? Is it wrong for anyone to share in their beliefs? No, whenever we wish to share our life with someone we embrace our humanity.

However, in that we cannot judge, for then we lose our humanity, our social imagination which depends on going beyond this fallen world...what we experience as temporal. In not judging one does not deny the one true God. The wise missionary is driven to share his/her testimony of the one true God as did Livingstone being like Paul the apostle we sense Livingstone being born again, awake to being a new creation in Christ and driven to share that with others in far away places.

In that new creation, he was motivated to share that experience of being a new kind of man here in this social imagination. There is nothing wrong with that. What missionaries can be criticized for is staying to long and introducing through the giving of gifts a false testimony of the awakening to the one true God Jesus Christ causing a new or another form idolatry to take shape as a practice. The Kingdom is within that is the gift ... and in this way, the sky is the sky wherever you go.

Livingstone like Paul mixed as in joined in with people to share his testimony and then he moved on. In this way, the sky was still the sky; no one was made to feel wrong or bad but perhaps somehow different...if a missionary leaves with having shared only the Good News ~ eternal life is for all who believe in Him whom He has sent ~ John 6:29.

Paul did not go using superiority of speech or of wisdom, he went proclaiming only to them his testimony ... he told them that (I Paul) know only of Jesus Christ and Him crucified ~ 1 COR 2... on man's behalf. Believe in Him and be Saved! "If you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved" ~ Romans 10:9.

Yes, the sky is the sky and God knows it, He made it. God made all the nations of mean, he put them in their place in hopes that they would reach out to Him from there place Acts 17:24. There are no works in that ... this is what Paul ministry was about. Anything else would have become a new or another idolatry, a worship of false Gods and a worship that requires works, ritual, sacrifices, and priests.

If Livingstone and certainly if Paul went about saying that his ways, his priests, his statues were better then he would not have brought the Good News! The sky would be another 'man' made sky. The sky is the sky for everyone, it has to be their choice to view it as to how it could be. The Good News is what drove both Livingstone to Africa and Paul to Greece... ... freely given, freely accepted. The only way the sky can be the sky wherever you go!

*The Good News ~ Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal." Therefore they said to Him, "What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?" Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent "~ John 6:27-29.

No comments :

Post a Comment