Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Convergence: What? (1 of 4)

Convergence is a technology buzzword that is thrown around regularly by marketing executives and yet seems to have no real meaning to most people other than that it sounds techie. Simply put, convergence is the uniting of two disparate technologies to automate, simplify, enhance or otherwise improve another task. Social Networking is an example of true convergence. The designers of these sites have united messaging and browsing to simplify and enhance the task of relationship maintenance. The goal of current technological innovation is to create convergence.

As I think about holiness and the separate disciplines it demands I relate this call to a sort of spiritual convergence. Christ called his followers to a path that demanded bridging two disparate religious pursuits to form a convergence he referred to as holiness.

In my life I have been taught by those who claim righteousness as the sole duty of the Christian. I had teachers who proudly recited the adage, “I don't drink, smoke, or chew and don't associate with those who do,” as an actual badge of honor earned through the tireless work of their own righteousness. Righteousness when placed as the spiritual center point results in the burden of insecurity and judgment. It's penalty is a teeter totter effect between self righteousness and self condemnation. The toll of this form of religion is a self obsessive,consumerist spirituality looking for the next quick fix. The adherents of “righteous religion” become crack heads to their appetite for a spiritual high that makes their righteousness feel safe.

Charity is a deceptive idol of false religion also. The obsession with serving others absent of relationship with God is a hollow exercise as well. It overwhelms the participant and leads to depression and despair. The charitable life absent of Godly motivation becomes a spur of bitterness to the participant. Eventually the “Christian Philanthropist” gives up cold and bitter that their passion was not shared and participated in by their peers. Eventually, they wander far away from the cold reality of their failure.

I have seen the righteous have no time and no place for servanthood. I have seen the charitable celebrate licentiousness in the name of freedom. The two ideas are not competing religious paths, instead they are disciplines that when mastered together are the lifestyle convergence that Christ called his followers to adhere to.

The convergence of righteousness and charity will both simplify and enhance the Christian's life. The abundant life promised by Christ to his followers is fully realized when this true holiness is lived out in our daily routine. The convergence that brings true joy to our life is this call to holiness.

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