I’m not quite sure how to begin this series of posts. We, my wife and I, and our friends Bryan and Dawn, are about to embark on a year long journey into community. This isn’t your traditional churchy idea of community, this is your raw, live with, share with, laugh with, cry with, hold each other accountable and challenge one another type of community.
What this is going to end up looking like as we take the journey I’m really not sure. The exciting thing for all of us is that we really believe this is a place we are supposed to be. I would venture to say this is the type of living more people should be considering.
We are going to do our best to document this journey, complete with weekly audio updates, a compilition of writings by the four of us (and sometimes the three year old), and plenty of photographs. Who knows maybe we’ll get a book deal or movie contract out of the deal. Seriously though, I’m excited about documenting this because I feel it is a journey many more people can and should take and our ability to trace our journey will give others the interest and courage to embark on it on their own.
I also promise not to glamorize in anyway our experience. There are some harsh realities and difficulties we will face, there is plenty of truth to that. Already we face the tensions and frustrations of giving up our own expectations for the well being of the community. This will not be a reality show, what it will be is the journey of four folks, trying to live out their convictions, and the trials and tribulations they face in that endevor.
I’ve been checking out Voxtropolis recently (a blogging community of sorts), and had the amazing privilege of running across the blog and recent story of Jake.
For most of the past five years, Malloy, an MU graduate, was a cook stationed in Washington, Mo. But, in July, when he learned his unit would begin training for probable deployment to Iraq, Malloy suffered a crisis of conscience. Unable to reconcile Christ’s teachings with the use of lethal force, Malloy filed a claim with the Army, asking that he be classified as a conscientious objector.
(via. Columbia Missourian)
Jake story is amazing to me. Very rarely do we allow our convictions to challenge us to do something outside of the realm of what is normally acceptable. I am often guilty of being convicted of things, but not willing to follow through on them because they are not socially acceptable. I fear that if I was in his shoes I would find myself justifying my current position and disregarding the clear convictions of my heart.
Here is some of what Jake wrote in
his claim as a conscientious objector:
I am in doubt as to the rightness of taking a human life primarily because of the nature of our loving God. He is patient with us, not wanting any to perish (2 Peter 3:9); I believe those having the Spirit of Christ should be likewise patient. Further, we see that God does not take pleasure in the death of the wicked but rather desires them to repent and be saved (Ezekiel 18:23, 33:11). We also are fallen and evil (Romans 3:23), and as such should not think our sins any less heinous than the most vile of offenders (James 2:10-11). In fact, while we were enemies of God ourselves, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). This is the foundation of Christianity. We do not take life, but give life, just as Christ gave his as an expression of his love for us (1 John 4:10) and as an example to us (Ephesians 5:1-2). While we were enemies of God, we also were inclined toward every evil practice. Our hope must be to bring an end to evil by filling souls with the love of Christ. Weapons of death cannot solve this problem. When we kill an individual, we add fuel to the fire of hatred within that person’s family. The God of love and the sacrifice of His Son is the hope for peace among nations and in our very lives. Knowing God has redeemed me from death, I could not put another to death for any wrong (John 8:7, Matthew 18:21-35).
A week ago Jake learned his claim was denied.*