October 25, 2006

The Skuh Manifesto

Not to be confused with the S.C.U.M. Manifesto

I know I haven't been "around" much as of late. I've been trying to figure out where I'm going in the next few years of my education. I still have very little idea, but the more I think about my current school, the more I ache for the people there. Not only is there absolutely no community on any level there, there is little to no Christian community. I am not posting this to bash the current Christian organizations present on campus, but I think we need far more than what's there.

So, if you will, take this post as my manifesto... the Skuh Manifesto, as it were.

It will simply not do to have only one Christian group on campus, with only two accessible meetings a week, geared only to Christians. I know that, if possible, I would hear multiple shouts of protest concerning this claim. But, think about out like this: The current outreaches on campus consist of church-like meetings, where a non-Christian can come, sing to a God they don't know, participate in a Christian Fellowship they do not fully understand (therefore, they cannot fully partake in), and hear sermons from Scripture that they do not ascribe to in a language that they are not fluent in (Christianese). The only draw for them is the free pizza. Why would you want to torment any non-Christian in such a way? The Church was not meant for this. It is a body of BELEIVERS, not a place to invite your friends to, as if it were the circus.

I am not saying that non-Christians should be perpetually ignorant of scripture, but there are far more effective ways of sharing the Gospel than creating mini-churches, with congregants who's only motivation in communicating with others is to invite them to meetings every time they talk to them.

My proposal-- my vision for the SCC campus in the coming semesters is as follows: Groups of 6-8 CHRISTIAN students, studying the scripture together, and standing beside one another as they venture into the community and campus building relationships with non-believers. Sharing the love of Christ in word and deed. Digging into their lives. Being there for them when they need support. Meeting physical needs. Buying them lunch. Helping them move. Lending them $10 for gas money. Inviting them over for dinner. Baking them cookies. Doing real things to accomplish real ministry, and meeting together in groups-- groups that exist to encourage and empower them to do these things every single day, with all of their beings.

This is my vision. This is the infection that needs to be spread on our campus, especially by Christians.

I have stated my vision. Here is my plea-- join me in this revolution, whether it be in prayer or in action.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Go for it!

Slatts said...

There is in the spirituality of Opus Dei a sentiment that I much agree with: that we are to be "contemplatives in the middle of the world". St Josemaria (the founder of Opus Dei) said that the street was his monastic cell.

When I was at SCC this was unconsciously my attitude. One day before a human biology class started the woman who sat behind me encountered me and said there was something unique about me, something she could not identify.

There are two ways to effect renewal: structured organizations that do corporal and spiritual works of mercy (very much what this manifesto is about) and what occurs on the personal level; the effect of a contemplative living in the world.

I like this "manifesto" because it seems to happily marry the two. It doesn't fall into the trap of overemphasizing one to forsake and forget the importance of the other.

"A multitude of wise men is the salvation of the world"

Jessica R. Goodwin said...

Ryan,

I find it strange, that you would like the ideology of this post, yet criticise (not bad criticism) the church movement that my family is currently involved with. This manifesto is exactly what we do as a church, only instead of focusing on one college campus, we focus on the entire community. Unless, of course, you like the idea for an "outreach", but find it improper for a Protestant church (which is very possible)

-Jessica

Slatts said...

Yes, I can see where one could be confused with my acceptance of one and rejection of the other. It would probably be good for me to clarify.

I admire and commend certain aspects of the Church planting movement (if that name suffices). For instance its evangelical outlook and Christocentricity. It is not that I think the model is rotten all through(quite the contrary). I think it accentuates neglected aspects of the pastoral mission of Christians.

I really do not object to much about it except it's de-emphasis on liturgy and its lack of appreciation and understanding of the tradition of Christian worship.

Good can be the enemy of best.

What your manifesto calls for are the same things I would laud the church planting movement for, but since your envisioned apostolate is not a Church-specific endeavor, I could hardly fault it for lack of liturgical appreciation.

I hope that suffices to clear up the what and why's of my opinions ;)

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