So I’ve been thinking…and I’ve been thinking a lot about Israel and Palestine. Now, much of what I’ll say, please remember that I just spent the summer in Bethlehem, and so this issue is pretty close to me right now in many ways, and that’s why I’m paying extra attention to it recently. But I’ve been thinking…
And after doing some thinking, I thought about going to check out the Emergent “Order” and under #3: Commitment to God’s World, it spells out the following practices:
- To build relationships with neighbors and to seek the good of our neighborhoods and cities.
- To seek reconciliation with enemies and make peace.
- To encourage and cherish younger people and to honor and learn from older people.
- To honor creation and to cherish and heal it.
- To build friendships across racial, ethnic, economic and other boundaries.
- To be involved at all times in at least one issue or cause of peace and justice.
And I think that Emergent is doing some good stuff. It seems like Darfur is the one issue or cause that is being picked up by most Emergent writers and practitioners. And I think that’s amazing and incredibly important. And I know that there are some “Emergent” folks who care deeply about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and so that drove me to do some thinking…
Why is no one writing about it? Out of the 118 blogs on Planet Emergent, I’ve rarely seen a post about the conflict. Especially in the last week, with all of what is happening in the land, I’ve still only seen 1 or 2 posts come from those 118 bloggers – many of whom are hailed as THE Emergent bloggers. So why is there silence on this issue? It just seems to be that if one of our concerns of Emergent is the Commitment to God’s World, then maybe our blogs need to be less about navel-gazing (which has its place and, I confess, mine often is) and more about the care and concern for God’s World, for the oppression that is happening in God’s World, for the injustices and the conflicts that we, as people of faith, should care about.
I’m sure there may be others, but I can think of at least one “emergent” person who has shown his “Commitment to God’s World” when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and that is Jonny Baker. After a visit to Israel & Palestine in 1998 (which you can read about here), Jonny came back and recorded the album, Backbone. It’s amazing – the lyrics and music are just phenomenal, and it’s crazy political and controversial but really something you need to hear [I’m working with Jonny to get some shipped over here and they’ll be available on pomomusings.com, so be looking for that in the near future; until then, here is a sample]. Jonny had the advantage of actually traveling to the land and seeing what was happening for himself – and that experience compelled him to share that musically…Thank you Jonny.
Obviously the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is incredibly difficult, it’s filled with grey-area: it’s a story about the oppressed becoming the oppressors, about violence, about injustices, about both Israeli and Palestinian families being torn apart, about homes being demolished, about lives being turned upside-down. I also know that there are SO MANY atrocities happening in the world, so many injustices that people could write about – but not all of them have such a connection to the evangelical Christian world – where so many people just buy into Biblical prophecy, etc., and support Israel so fully. It’s connected in a way that no other issue is. Now, no one is going to solve this anytime soon – but there is so much to this conflict that many in our churches and in the general public just don’t know – and maybe getting some of this information out into the blogging-world is one step that could be made. And so that made me do some thinking, and ask the question: Where are the “emergent” bloggers who care about this issue? I know you are out there. I know you care. But if you care…
Why the silence?