Every society generates an unspoken list of priorities. It’s not really designed by anyone. It’s just the general consensus of the population. It’s probably the best way to understand a people. I’ve been trying to make a list of the priorities of our Canadian people group. Here’s a rough list:
– Safety. Death is the ultimate evil. Anything that reduces the risk of death or injury is good.
– Entertainment. Being bored or under-stimulated is almost as bad as death.
– Ease. Convenience as an end in itself, not as a means to save time.
– Independence. Each individual ought to be able to function as an island. This is valued both as it tends toward life-building experiences and as it protects our choices from outside interference.
– Freedom. The ability to choose our own paths without arbitrary interference.
– Tolerance. The embracing of all manners of living as completely as possible.
This started me thinking about what the priority list of the Christian sub-culture might look like. This seemed more difficult because most of them would be the same in some sub-cultures, while in others they might be completely different. I decided to go with the sub-culture I knew best. Fundamentalist.
– Biblical authority. If it is not of the Bible it is bad. This spreads to all levels of life. Even some that many would consider irrelevant.
– Separation. The church is separate from the world. As such the things of the world are evil and practices of the world are suspect.
– Tradition. The way we have done it is good and change is resisted unless for very good reason.
– Solemnity. Quiet, deep worship. Flippancy is considered very bad.
And, of course, all this started me thinking about what a list would look like for a group of people who followed Jesus. This one was hard, because it required me to try to push past the way I ordered my life to see the way I should order my life.
– Love. Love to God and love to man. Nothing higher than this. Nothing. Not safety, not money, not freedom. Love above all.
– Hatred. Seems strange, eh? But hatred of sin, I think, is something high on the list. Hatred of hypocrisy. Of death. Of pain and injustice. Of philosophies that cause these things.
– Holiness. The emulating of the life and love of Christ. The faithful outworking of everything he pointed to. Joy. Discipline. Service. Purity.
I can’t think of any more. Can you?
This is second-hand unless you’re reading it at http://www.theilliteratescribe.com