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Monday, June 22, 2015

Embracing a Negative Message

Yes, it has been a while, hasn't it?
To be honest, I'm overwhelmed with lots of small things that add up to one big thing... I call it the 'Blob.'  It's just a big blob of half-completed tasks, partly from my own sloth and partly from the broken promises of others.  Oh, well... life is never easy.
What I have been thinking about lately is how we have taken a culture of unbounded criticism and created an environment where people have begun to embrace all that is negative.
It used to be that criticism was always done in the face of self-confidence, like a counter-weight to pride and vanity.  But, what happens when the pride is gone?  All that is left is the barrage of complaint and fault-finding.
This is what you get in religion, where people are constantly complaining about the world or humanity or religion itself.  Then, when the criticism 'wins' the debate, it refuses to stop.  It just keeps coming, and soon it destroys what it once sought to correct.
It becomes constant dissatisfaction and pessimism.
There are people who are not able to handle both value and criticism.  They want it 'all-or-nothing.'  Outsiders here the criticism of Western culture from Westerners and believe the bad is the totality... and then you end up with radicalism and ISIS/Daesh/Al Qaeda.
When everything is bad, we end up prisoners of rage and depression.  That's why those movements eventually become rape-factories and feeding frenzies of oppression.
I'm talking politics, but I am also talking daily life.  When you teach kids that their societies are nothing but 'evil' and you make 'good' so totally abstract that they can never really experience it, get ready for substance abuse and other forms of 'escape.'
The phenomenon sweeping the world right now is dissatisfaction, one that has come with the 'Critical Theory' movement.  Everything is endlessly analyzed, and examined, and critiqued... often without the benefit of the 'whole picture.'
So, we end up fretting endlessly about food ingredients and how everything causes cancer... and forget that humans are living longer than they ever have.  In fact, some say we now have too many of them, but then we run around and save them from diseases and famine.
Contradictions, yes?
We have become lost in the details of criticism.
So we are miserable.  The blob I fight with is a tightly-knit organism of details that disappears only when I step back and get some perspective.  That's what I'm fighting with right now.
I refuse, however, to embrace the negative.  I believe the world is good, that it was made good, and no amount of human sin can change that.
That's the source of my hope: that the God who is good made all things good.