When did your doctor become your prescriber? I was watching CBS as I prepared for Sunday services…a commercial for a sleep aid drug directed us to go to your prescriber [as apposed to your doctor] to get this free 7 day trail offer. I want to frame this commercial as it appeared during a news show about lying [I must thank Ismael for the exposure to Bok’s Lying book].
I have ranted for sometime about the consumer mentality that we embrace in America. We commoditize everything: sex, relationships, expression, religion, and God. We constantly succumb to the urge to instantly gratify the desires that well up inside us. We deny ourselves very little. We panic and run to some kind of vice.
We are instructed as to what is cool. To what is necessary. To what will fulfill us. We are prescribed the cure to our doldrum lives. Just buy this book and you will find purpose. Take this pill and all that dormant energy will be unleashed in your life. Practice this religion and you will be awakened to the mysteries of success and therefore happiness.
Look around you…the grocery stores are full of choices. You can purchases hundreds of different cheeses, meats, and snack foods. Most of these are conveniently packaged to enable you to remain in motion consuming products. There is never a shortage of options.
There is a shortage of is connection to ones soul. There are many religions to choose from, Islam, Baha’i, Jain, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Scientology [if this is truly a religion], countless new age spiritual cults or meditations, and far too many Christian denominations. Just pick one and it will unlock to you all that your soul needs. Call now and the first 100 callers will get this handy diet book on how to trim the fat from your life and look good doing it.
We act like we have all the answers and point fingers to each other proclaiming they are wrong and we are right. We prescribe prayers like they are magic. We offer rites and rituals devoid of transformation. Worse yet, we consume this shit without a question. We are desperate to find hope. We are desperate to have peace. We are desperate to be connected. We are desperate to consume. We are not desperate to do what is necessary to transform ourselves and the world around us.
We fill our youth with dreams of change, moral rights and wrongs, and a can do work ethic. We minister to others a gospel message that we secretly question. We fervently fight to believe and to hold on to the glimmer of faith that we had at one time. We consume to regain that simplistic life that was at one time the guide dog for your blind life. We want to believe. We want hope. We want faith. How can we believe and have faith in a dogma that excludes and alienates many with a legalistic process that demands utter perfection. This while ensuring you that you will never achieve this perfection you need to fall at the feet of the Creator.
Is there a prescriber for this? Can I go to my local prescriber and get a free trial of God. Perhaps I can get that trail in an easy to swallow measured dosage, so I do not take too much. I just want to try it. I am not committing to anything, not until I am sure it works.
It has to remove all obstacles. It has to rocket me to the top of the business ladder. It has to find me that perfect relationship. It has to punish those that fucked with me. It has to make me rich or at least well off. It has to banish injustice. It has to alleviate poverty. It has to stop killing babies and teenaged unwed mothers in Afghanistan. It has to do all of this right now and with out haste.
In order for me to believe in God I have to see that injustice is absent of church. I want to see a gay couple sitting next to a suited yuppie couple with the requisite 2 kids with the Land Rover parked outside. Sitting in the pew a couple of rows over is the migrant farm worker accepted and loved. Sitting next to her is the African immigrant that cleans the office building of my fortune 500 company. Then there is the Emerging kids that pepper the congregation with a healthy dialogue of post-modern theory and missional living. This church must exist in the middle of downtown, someplace in the heart of a renewal. We must have a contemporary, traditional, folksy, bluesy, gospely, punk rock like worship that utilizes Taize, Christian Wafer Rock, death metal, and perhaps a little bit of Tuvan Throat singing.
When I see this I will consume. I will be the first one in line at 1 am Monday morning for the front row seat on Sunday’s performance. I will bring my tent, TV, heater, blankets, snacks, and a boatload of cold drinks. I will ensure that all of the homeless folks do not mess with anyone. I personally guarantee when this church happens I will knock the shit out of any bum that threatens to cut in line.
I will go to the local prescriber to get a prescription for some pain meds so I will feel nothing as I knock around a few hobos or bums. I may have to get that sleep aid I heard about to rest after the bum fights. I will consume this like I consume Chinese buffets.
What I want most of all is to practice a sincere Christianity. I want to be transformed. I want to serve in a radical fashion. I want to be honest about my shortcomings. I want to be a pastor. I want to be unfit. I want to be relevant. I want to be alive. I hate that I consume. I wish I could abstain from consumption. I need to go on a consumer diet. I think I might go to Wal-Mart and see if they have a self-help book on this? No, I just need to be silent…