Quiet Place. Sanctuary from Faith & Culture

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“There is a quiet place, for from the maddening pace where God can soothe my troubled mind.” It was a song I sang in my college years in the 60’s. Whatever else vibrant faith offers, today we look to it for solace from culture & religion.

Humans find renewal in quiet getaways. James Trulove says this is the role of cottages. “[Cottages] are all seen as a refuge. That’s the most important factor. A cottage is a place where you can go to rejuvenate yourself.” Spiritual place offer the same, at least that is the hope of architects working on the new St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church being built at the site of the WTC 911 cataclysm.

Spiritual getaways are different from entertainment’s diversions, because when they take us away from the madding crowd, they take us TO something real and restorative.

We live in an entertainment society that takes the rigorous works of Homer and spends millions of dollars reducing them to a meditation on Brad Pitt’s “abs,” concluding, “Homer is Hot!”

“Frasier” prides itself for not “talking” down to intelligent audiences in a show that can hardly be considered intellectually rigorous, except by comparison to mindless competition like “Friends.” At least “American Idol” has the good sense to defend the voting off of Latoya by arguing that their show is not a competition for the best singer. To paraphrase Simon, “you get more votes, you are America’s Idol whether you can sing or not!”

What culture lacks in excellence the religious world sometimes lacks in sincerity. Does anybody actually believe James Dobson is reticent to get involved in politics or that he has just commenced doing so? Don Hodel betrays the truth when he talks about marketing consultants and the Focus on the Family “brand” I believe Dobson is a sincere person so why not be honest. He’s itching for a fight, fully embraced the culture war years ago and at the end of the day wants his side to be left standing and the other side in disarray or better yet decimated. The reason such an honest view is bad marketing is because it baits the press and also does not sound Christian. Evangelicals sometimes need to understand that our positions don’t sound Christian because they are not.

Yours for the pursuit of God in the company of friends, Dick Staub.

PS. And remember, “these are the best of times and the worst of times, but they are the only times we have.” (For Now).

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  • ‚©CRS Communications 5/14/04

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