You might be wondering, “Where did Zach find that quote he used in the teaser video?” Or you may not, but either way I wanted to share it with you. My friends, whom I’ve met in passing, with Avant, used it in a piece they had created at one point and I just had to find the article (thanks for the help Kelly!). The article is entitled, Liberated Czechs find freedom, lose religion, and it’s over at The Age. The opening quote of the article – Saints peek out from alleys. Angels fleck the skyline. In stone and marble, God’s mysteries reside in this city’s architecture. But try finding him in the skeptical Czech soul. – is what I used and it is very fitting of Prague and the country as a whole.
It’s a very interesting article and I don’t want to take the time to blog about all of it, because you should just go read it now! However, I do want to add a little commentary to one portion. The author, of the piece, quotes a woman who previously worked in radio, as a religious programmer,
“What’s lacking here is the aura of Christian morals,” she said. “People have forgotten that right and wrong stem from Christianity.
“People cheat on their employers. They cheat on each other. The egoism is unbelievable. It’s me, me, me.”
First off, (without getting into a huge discussion) “right and wrong” do not stem, merely, from “Christianity” but from God. Who is the source and essence of truth, who has imparted a moral code to each and every human being, because we are each created in His image (see Romans 1:18-31 and Genesis 1:26-27). I think what she was referencing is that this culture, or European culture as a whole, was formed and rose to prominence on the foundations of Judeo-Christian ethics, and now that much of Europe is forsaking Christianity, there is a void there. I agree with that.
I actually hear things like this quote often. Off the top of my head, I can think of two conversations, immediately, that I’ve had, one with a teammate and another with a teammate’s mother. Both conversations (one of which was completely in Czech!!!), hinged on the loss of morals within the Czech culture. Both individuals told me that, my work is valuable because Christian morals are valuable and this place so needs them. It was interesting hearing this from two different generations! One generation, has teenage children and the other generation is that – a teenager. Both were talking about the biggest problem here is the lack of morals and no foundation. The, attempted, ‘removal of God’ from this place has left a moral vacuum, that many, most of which are atheists, acknowledge as terribly dangerous to the culture at large. I was reminded of this last night, as I received a ride home from a teammate, and the joke within the car was that the word ‘verný’ (faithful) doesn’t exist here, or, in their opinion, in many places. Sadly, there probably is truth to that!
It’s a bridge to spiritual conversation for sure, but it is a challenge to help them see past ‘Christian morals.’ This is what ‘Christianity,’ as a system, gets us. I’m talking about more than just a system! I’m talking about God, breaking into the world through human flesh and living a radical life of love and service, that was ultimately in service to me, as God, Himself, hung a criminal’s death on wooden posts! It’s a revolution of the heart. It’s a complete upheaval of the ‘world’s system’ and our lives, not some system of rules or 1+2=3 formula of sorts. It’s vibrant. It’s alive. It blows systems up! Cultural change cannot happen from systems, or laws passed, but from followers of this Radical, known as Jesus, going into the world and being used as part of the revolution, He has already started, through words and deeds! Not systems!
Wow! I got a little fired up there. I hope this all makes sense and it challenges you a bit. I hope it also helps you know how to pray for this place that YOU AND I, TOGETHER, are attempting to reach! Thanks for stopping by….