living with the tension

DSCN1743Over the years loads of my Christian friends have spoken of their desire to see real change in the world and communities, to dream of making it a better, fairer place. From healing divisions in Northern Ireland to campaigning about tax havens to climate change to human rights to homelessness to treating animals better to ____ there are things that push our buttons and make us want to fight against injustice and oppression. I recognise this side in myself as well, a belief that the older generations and other people just don’t get it, have failed and that it is up to me personally to ‘be the change that you want the world to be’. Maybe there is an air of arrogance that I can really change the world.

So I have been wondering a little about this quote from Hans Rookmaaker:-

‘The Christian’s task is not to change the world – wonderful as this would be if it led to better morals, better justice, better management of the world’s resources – but primarily to keep the world from decay and corruption, evil and suppression.
            The Christian lives in tension. On one hand, knowing that man is sinful, he does not expect a Utopia. He accepts the world as it is after the Fall,knowing that it is unnatural, subject to pain and death and crying out for removal of the curse. He knows that only Christ can bring renewal. On the other hand, the Christian can never merely accept this malfunctioning, this pain and suffering. He may never abandon his duty, but is called to follow Christ’s example, to relieve or fight the effects of evil. In this sense the Christian is a protester, but his is a protest in love. It takes wisdom and know when to accept the less than perfect, and when to press on for something better’

The Creative Gift, Hans Rookmaaker

Are we sometimes unrealistic in our dreams of changing the world?  Are we reluctant to accept the less than perfect?
Do we sometimes play down how deeply broken our human hearts are and think that things can be turned around if just do a, b or c?

Or  are Christians generally more guilty of not pressing on for something better?

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