Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Claiborne: demonic suburbs?

In the Irresistible Revolution, Shane Claiborne continues to argue for seeing the entire human family as our family, without national borders or genetic borders. To me, this is the true Christian universalism: not accepting everyone's religion as the "same," but serving others regardless of their faith or ethnicity.

Shane goes to Iraq and witnesses the war first hand. When he comes back, a woman criticizes him for being "careless" with his life and putting his mother through terrible anxiety. She goes on to say that Jesus himself would scold Shane for this.

What Jesus is she talking about? Shane wonders. This becomes a launching point for discussing Christianity as a dangerous faith, not a safe faith. We're asked to take risks, and those risks can include dying or making our families uncomfortable.

He talks about safety as a possibly demonic force: "the suburbs are the home of the more subtle demonic forces -- numbness, complacency, comfort--and it is these things that can eat away at our souls."

Is that true?


Andy said...

Well, if the suburbs distract us from the call of the gospel (to love the least of these), then isn't it a perfectly simple and hidden tool of Satan? At first that statement seems over-the-top, but isn't that exactly how the Evil One would operate?

Complacency is a powerful tool.

Anonymous said...

I don't know about Shane C., but have you ever noticed that it is always white, educated, middle-class people who have such distain for the "suburbs" and other people exactly like themselves? What is that about? Maybe I am missing the point, but I think complacency, spiritual laziness and hypocrisy can bloom anywhere and everywhere. Saying Satan is is the suburbs seems judgemental, self-hating and silly to me.