Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Gated Community: Who Are You Keeping Out?

In case you missed it, this is a spectacular Silly Song from the days when most of us weren't watching VeggieTales movies anymore. Seriously. Listen to it. I am making this post extra short to account for the lost time. It’s social commentary with singing vegetables—basically, stir fry satire.

Okay, now that you’ve watched it, here’s a question: in what ways do we tend to make Christianity into a “gated community”?

That wasn’t rhetorical. I want you to actually think about it and come up with some answers.

Another way to ask this question might be, "Who is the kid with the ball in your life? Who is the maintenance man/vegetable who everyone tries to ignore?"

In some ways, I tend to be even worse than the suburbanites displayed in the video. I’m not ignoring the world while grilling; I’m ignoring the world while philosophizing about the best kind of barbeque sauce and the ethical implications of eating meat.

I’m not saying it’s bad to care about theology. But I do think it’s bad to care about theology—or politics, or winning arguments, or creating great music, or sports or art or pretty much anything you might be passionate about—more than people.

Especially if those people need help. Especially if they feel left out, or judged, or think that whatever religion I represent clearly doesn't want them and their problems around.

Any time I feel comfortable with my life as it is, I watch this clip and remember that loving others as I love myself is more than just being a good person. It means actually doing something, taking little opportunities to help others, and not shutting myself off from people who might need me.

“And so what we have learned applies to our lives today.” There’s your daily dose of children’s animated conviction. Hope it made you think the way it did for me.

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