Friday, April 13, 2007

Life in the Center

Growing up in Canada I always felt a little outside the center. It was always clear that the US was the center of Western culture. From a global view all of the US, Canada and Western Europe are the center.

I read a great article the other night. I was going through my old magazines as part of spring cleaning and stumbled on this article in a Christianity Today from last summer. It's exactly what I've been looking for.

Rt. Rev. Dr. David Zac Niringiye talks about the dangers of being at the center. He explains that throughout scripture God was always outside the center. Jesus came to earth far out of the center.

As North American Christians he says we are at a disadvantage in understanding Jesus because we don't have that experience of being at the margins. His suggestion is that all North American Christians spend time globally at the margins - not to "fix" the rest of the world or to "bring God" to the rest of the world, but to realize that the margin is where God is and if we want to be with God, that's where we need to be.

I've been trying to explain to my church that sending people to Africa isn't to try to evangelize Africa (the church there is growing much faster than the church in my area), it's to transform our people by stepping outside our comfortable world and seeing God working in other parts of the world.
"One of the gravest threats to the North American church is the deception of power - the deception of power - the deception of being at the center. Those at the center tend to think, 'The future belongs to us. We are the shapers of tomorrow. The process of gospel transmission, the process of mission - all of it is on our terms, because we are powerful, because we are established. We have a track record of success, after all.'"
How often do we the US as shaping the world? How often do we say things like "the future belongs to us"?

If God is working far from the center, let's go be with Him.

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Blogger Bryan said...

In Canada we're nowhere need the center. Centre, maybe. But never the center.

11:47 AM  

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