Wednesday, August 05, 2009


Andrew and I watched "Defiance", starring Daniel Criag (who doesn't try to be a beefcake in it), on date night and both of us HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT. I wouldn't say that this aligning of our opinions is rare, but... Well, let's just say it's nice that it was he and I against 50% of the Top Critics on (although we were backed by the New Yorker, and so felt justified).

Before you wonder, as I did, how it could be possible that yet another WW2 movie had been written, cast, produced, shot, and released that somehow managed to cover a perspective that hadn't already been written, cast, produced, shot, and released in the form of ALL THE OTHER WW2 MOVIES, don't. It's different. Just watch it.

The summarized plot (yoiked from
Jewish brothers in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe escape into the Belarussian forests, where they join Russian resistance fighters and endeavor to build a village in order to protect themselves and about 1,000 Jewish non-combatants.
One particular scene, of no importance, grabbed me. As Jewish refugees discovered the forest village they signed up with administrators, stating their name and previous occupation: watchmaker, nurse, intellectual, accountant. Although the watchmaker had a knack for repairing rifle triggers and the nurse's skills were of instant value, the community had little use for the latter two - "accountant" being particularly derided. Everyone then learned skills that were necessary for survival in their new environment. Building shelter, thieving food from neighbouring farms, aiming and shooting firearms, etc.

One of the travesties of Hitler's regime, one that preceded genocide, was that "die Endlösung der Judenfrage" ("the final solution of the Jewish question") meant their complete erasure from society. Before they were taunted, threatened, hunted, criminalized, and annihilated, Jews were respected members of a civilization that needed them. They were doctors, lawyers, teachers, government officials, bankers, and, yes, accountants.

Buckle up.

Why are we, as Christians, ghettoizing ourselves? There is no external threat great or valid enough to justify our exodus from society, nothing near the extent that real refugees feel, so why are we VOLUNTARILY fleeing, removing our skills, our creativity, our opinions, our collaborations, our inventions, and our wisdom from a civilization that needs us? Why are ministerial positions (pastor, intercessor, worship leader) held in piety, since they only serve the needs of our tribe? Why are cowering in forest hovels, applying our energy to building a subculture of...defiance?

Not that it matters, since angered readers are most likely drafting a scathing response and skimming the rest of this post, but I am a pastor. The Christian family needs a place to call home, needs its wounds bathed, needs its belly fed, needs its soul refreshed. It is, however, my goal to excel both in church and state affairs and to counsel others to do the same.

A good friend recently quoted God as having told her: "Live offensively, not defensively." Since no one hunts us but a finite enemy who feeds himself on the authority WE GIVE HIM, having been given to us by our infinite Father, let's pray our maranatha in praise instead of panic. Let's take the FIRST step, not the last and most begrudged, in establishing egalitarian movements, writing government policies, being informed about foreign affairs, being involved in domestic affairs, initiating philanthropic activity, and becoming leaders of education, medicine, law, media, and business. Like God intended.
"We must become the change we want to see in the world."
- Mahatma Ghandi

God doesn't want us to be shy with his gifts, but bold and loving and sensible.
(2 Timothy 1:7, The Message)

Let me tell you why you are here. You're here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You've lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.
(Matthew 5:13, The Message)

Ask of me,
and I will make the nations your inheritance,
the ends of the earth your possession.
(Psalm 2:8, NIV)

Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other, and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked.
(Nehemiah 4:17-18, NIV)

Let your light so shine before men that they may see your moral excellence and your praiseworthy, noble, and good deeds and recognize and honor and praise and glorify your Father Who is in heaven.
(Matthew 5:16, Amplified)


Andrew G said...


I think you well described God's heart for us. And I can't believe 2 Timothy 1:7!! Totally amazing!!

Seth Kimberley Graham Hunter said...

and just think. All those Jews that have learned so much from other cultures are traveling back to Jerusalem. That place will be a powerhouse...

J Puddy said...

I couldn't agree more. This is your best post in a while.

"...why are we VOLUNTARILY fleeing, removing our skills, our creativity, our opinions, our collaborations, our inventions, and our wisdom from a civilization that needs us? Why are ministerial positions (pastor, intercessor, worship leader) held in piety..."

Because people like to feel safe; like to be told what to do and what not to do. Like to be free from argument and disagreement. Like to put on a happy face when they really feel sad. Prefer to read the stories of the Bible than to actually experience relationship with God, directly, intimately.