Monday, January 28, 2013

Intentional versus Evolutionary: Community

The very word intentional seems to be enjoying a lot press these days.  Intentionality has seeped in under the American Christian's door since he, like all Americans, is bereft of all the knowledge, advice, and understanding that preceding generations had.  To do otherwise would upset the womenfolk, and one must apparently leap with alacrity away from any chance of doing that, and, subsequently, run away from upsetting the stupid, many of whom have been trained to be angered by the merest suggestion of their existence.

So, here we are at intentional, which folks generally like, because it implies we can think, form intentions, and implement them in some way.  The problem is that merely wanting (which is what being 'intentional' actually boils down to) to do something, like form a community, works about as well as merely wanting to lose weight. 

A real game change means a fundamental altering of our current situation.  Modern society is design to atomize us, and make us nice interchangeable parts for our little despots to shuffle around.  A community is not crucial to our survival- well it isn't crucial to our physical survival, since I wouldn't call American food/entertainment/cubicle lifestyle sufficient- so any serious level of difficulty within a proto-community now rather quickly leads to someone leaving.  This is the community level equivalent of constant availability of really tasty chocolate cake to the individual dieter.  I don't care how strong your will power is, you are going to have a down day; indeed enough down days where you eat the cake, and in some cases you are going to eat the cake instead of your dinner, so you won't get the nutrition you need either.

So what do you do if you want community?  Take the evolutionary view, or a system's view.  You've got to strike the root.  Of course, you want to have some sort of alternative way of getting resources first, but sometimes the evil of the system forces you into funny places.  This is where Obamacare has gotten most mainstream Christians.  The modern state got us to compromise with it and it handed out plenty of goodies.  They'll even tell you you can have your cake and eat it too.

As long as the cake route is there, you'll only get your professed intention on your good days.
Historically though, there was no cake route, and sooner or later, the cake route will be gone.  The cake route is unsustainable. 

So, if you understand your own incentives, and set up your lifestyle in which your incentives and you purported desire both encourage you to go in the right direction, then you will see the full expression of your desire.  In the case of community it means people have to build up provision outside of this system and then make some pretty scary decisions about depending on people.  If you are plugged into our system, Jethro looks crazy for embracing a killer, a fugitive from Egypt.  But Jethro wasn't crazy; our system is crazy. 

No comments: