Proclaiming #6 – Priorities

by MW Cook

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?

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