Ideas / Life / July 6, 2011

For or against?

Every organization must be against things be they actions, beliefs, theologies, societal issues, etc. Every individual must be against things too. But should they be defined by what they’re against?
Shouldn’t what we are against be a byproduct of what we are for? If we are in pursuit of something, we are, by definition, running away from something else. If we are simply running away from something we are not necessarily running to anything at all. We are just aimlessly fleeing.
If an organization builds its identity by defining what it is against it becomes cloistered, inbred, paranoid, accusatory, legalistic, nit picky, and immobile. It will never achieve anything great because it isn’t pursuing anything great.  All the same things are true for an individual except “inbred” (because that would just be kinda weird).
On the flip side, if an organization or person builds its identity by what it pursues it has the potential to be open-minded, active, welcoming, creative, and productive because it has a goal, an objective. Success depends on the quality of the goal and in the way in which pursuit is undertaken.
Is your church in pursuit of a great goal? Is the company for which your work? Is your family? Are you? Pursue something, don’t just flee things. Let what you are against be defined by what you are pursuing and how you are pursuing it.

1 Comment

Jul 08, 2011

Good post. “Don’t be defined by what you’re against” was one of the best one-sentence speeches I heard in seminary. For some reason I think it’s especially important for those of us who are theologically or politically conservative.

It’s easy to bash the status quo, and you can get lots of attention doing it. Pursuing a great goal, as you’ve said, is much harder.

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