To all of us young revolutionaries….

"He who wishes to exert a useful influence must be careful to insult nothing. Let him not be troubled by what seems absurd, but concentrate his energies to the creation of what is good. He must not demolish, but build. He must raise temples where mankind may come and partake of the purest pleasure. "
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

 

Also- from Kevin DeYoung:

 

The Glory of Plodding

by Kevin DeYoung

It‚Äôs sexy among young people ‚Äî my generation ‚Äî to talk about ditching institutional religion and starting a revolution of real Christ-followers living in real community without the confines of church. Besides being unbiblical, such notions of churchless Christianity are unrealistic. It‚Äôs immaturity actually, like the newly engaged couple who think romance preserves the marriage, when the couple celebrating their golden anniversary know it‚Äôs the institution of marriage that preserves the romance. Without the God-given habit of corporate worship and the God-given mandate of corporate accountability, we will not prove faithful over the long haul.

What we need are fewer revolutionaries and a few more plodding visionaries. That‚Äôs my dream for the church ‚Äî a multitude of faithful, risktaking plodders. The best churches are full of gospel-saturated people holding tenaciously to a vision of godly obedience and God‚Äôs glory, and pursuing that godliness and glory with relentless, often unnoticed, plodding consistency.

My generation in particular is prone to radicalism without followthrough. We have dreams of changing the world, and the world should take notice accordingly. But we‚Äôve not proved faithful in much of anything yet. We haven‚Äôt held a steady job or raised godly kids or done our time in VBS or, in some cases, even moved off the parental dole. We want global change and expect a few more dollars to the ONE campaign or Habitat for Humanity chapter to just about wrap things up. What the church and the world needs, we imagine, is for us to be another Bono ‚Äî Christian, but more spiritual than religious and more into social justice than the church. As great as it is that Bono is using his fame for some noble purpose, I just don‚Äôt believe that the happy future of the church, or the world for that matter, rests on our ability to raise up a million more Bonos (as at least one author suggests). With all due respect, what‚Äôs harder: to be an idolized rock star who travels around the world touting good causes and chiding governments for their lack of foreign aid, or to be a line worker at GM with four kids and a mortgage, who tithes to his church, sings in the choir every week, serves on the school board, and supports a Christian relief agency and a few missionaries from his disposable income?

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5 thoughts on “To all of us young revolutionaries….

  • These topics have been on my mind a lot lately. I don’t entirely agree with the Goethe quotation; building up may be more important (if only because it’s scarcer) than tearing down, but both are sometimes beneficial. However, I have realized that I can probably do more to improve the world and advance the kingdom by doing the former, and when I have the resources I need to do a good job of it, I hope to spend a much lower proportion of my energy on the latter.

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