Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Last week was crazy busy but also lots of fun. I loved almost everything I did including officiating my first wedding. I want to write about the wedding but I'm trying to see if I have some video or at least pictures for post with it. In the mean time let me share about two other things I did. Tuesday I was at a sectional lunch with other ministers. I've really liked what we are doing with the new section. We have been getting together once a month and fellowshipping. Much better than how things were going with the previous section.

Of course this probably sounds pretty boring, and to people on the outside it probably is so I'm going to move on to one of the more interesting things I did last week.

There was a Chamber of Commerce sponsored event last week called the "Ethics Workshop." The seniors from both high schools are required to attend. They are assigned random tables and each table has a facilitator. I was a volunteer facilitator. Last year the table I was at spent a good deal of the off time discussing some really … interesting? … stuff. The kind of stuff that you don't normally talk about in front of other people, much less an adult. They about died at the end of the event when one finally asked what I did. This year I was at a table composed entirely of girls. That is just unreal.

They were faced with 4 ethical dilemmas and had to vote on what their decisions would be. The first was a pretty straight forward choice where they had to decide who would receive a liver based on the available information. They chose the patient that had the largest family and would likely live the longest. Unintentionally they based their decision on the most good for the greatest number of people. This is generally viewed as an excellent mode for making ethical decisions. After that things got generally disturbing. Most of them started voting based on what affected them the least. When presented with the option of narcing on a friend using steroids most choose to say nothing. Another scenario involved a cousin joining a gang and planning an armed robbery of a store that some friends work at. The group felt it was wise to tell their friends but no one else. The friends should just go into work and play along so no one got hurt.

The final scenario was based on a real story. They were going up Everest and near the peak the find a man with no gear sitting near a shear drop of several thousand feet who greats them with "I bet you're surprised to see me here." The group generally decided to leave the guy. Some felt they might try to call for help and even leave some oxygen. One said she would try to help him back down. I offered another solution that they felt was atrocious. I said that leaving him to die slowly was immoral so either help him down or end it quickly with a small push. I find it interesting that they are willing to let the man die but won't go out of their way to help him or end it quickly.

I think this generally represents much of our culture. People don't want others involved and don't want to get involved. We are happy to sit back and let thousands, and even millions die so long as it doesn't affect us directly. I think that is much of what drives "pro choice," and more importantly why we ignore genocides all around the world but push for war when we are attacked only to change our minds once the war lasts longer than our outrage.

By the way, in the real event the man was abandoned for dead by his group because he was ill and threatening the rest of the group. They had reported him dead the previous day. Earlier that day several other groups avoided him including one that passed near and pretended to only speak French. One group abandoned their quest for the peak and helped him back to camp where he received medical attention and survived to tell the tale. Left by his own, ignored and deceived, on the brink of death, and then saved by someone at a price. That's what it means to be a neighbor and what we are called to do. I wonder how many "Christians" passed this guy up?

On an unrelated note, I posted a sermon on my sermon blog. You should check it out. WAKE UP!