Monday, April 20, 2009

A faithtful look at recovery

Recovery or renewal?

Brian McLaren raises a serious point: in all our discussions of 'economic recovery,' just what are we trying to recover? Are we merely trying to go back to an unconstrained, greedy mentality? If so, recovery is idolatry. And it will not succeed long term.

For many people, economic recovery means getting back to where we were a few months or years ago. That means recovering our consumptive, greedy, unrestrained, undisciplined, irresponsible, and ecologically and socially unsustainable way of life. I'd like to suggest another kind of recovery, drawing from the world of addiction. When an addict gets into recovery, he doesn't want to go back and recover the "high" he had before, or even to recover the conditions he had before he began using drugs and alcohol. Instead, he wants to move forward to a new way of life---a wiser way of life that takes into account his experience of addiction. He realizes that his addiction to drugs was a symptom of other deeper issues and diseases in his life---unresolved pain or anger, the need to anesthetize painful emotions, lack of creativity in finding ways to feel happy and alive, unaddressed relational and spiritual deficits, lack of self-awareness, and so on.

Similarly, I'd like to suggest whenever we hear the word "recovery," we as a nation see it not as a call to get back our old addictive high, but rather as a call to face our corporate and personal addictions...

Important words.

A believing person has an obligation to stand up and be counted whenever s/he sees agendas and actions that will destroy the nation -- whether economics or politics or metaphysics --; however, believers also have an obligation not to accept terms of 'recovery' that refuse to acknowledge the responsibility of life before God.

All of life is spiritual if God exists.

Therefore all our answers must be spiritual in nature, giving clear account before God, never allowing ourselves to say, 'Oh, this is just politics,' or 'this is just economics.'


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