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A Greeting & An Introduction

Written by Jordan Peacock : December 12, 2007

Editor’s note: We received an article submission–the first from our new submit-an-article page. It is more of a bio than an article, but I think it demonstrates the emerging lack of homogeneity when it comes to Christianity.  We live in a diverse, pluralistic world where all sorts of experiences and cultures are bumping into one another.  Even as we challenge individualism, we recognize that these diverse forces create unique stories.  We all have a unique story–a unique experience of Christ that has been shaped by so many subtleties and complexities.  Here is a glimpse of one such story:
Hello. Hello is the preferred greeting over here in the states between otherwise strange parties. It can be a curt, cordial welcome that guardedly opens one up without commitment.

In that case, allow me rephrase it.

Peace to you, and those with you. When I grew up, people would hug and kiss one another at this point, but I’m getting ahead of myself and I’m afraid I’d make you uncomfortable.

I’ve only been following Mark on his blog for a few months, and having not actually met or even interacted with any of the other posters here aside from an email or comment conversation, I want to put forth this introduction and offer. Mark has put forth a call to writers, and a writer I am, but I want to be clear on a few things first.

To begin with, who am I?

My mother was a missionary kid over in Germany & Switzerland; my dad a farm kid in Southern Alberta. I was born and grew up in central Alberta, only to move up to the near-Arctic at age 4. My father was an engineer, and as a result gets drawn to all the (pardon the phrase) God-forsaken parts of the earth. Our stint in the freezerbox ended 5 years later with a brief sojourn in Calgary before the pendulum swung to the opposite extreme. We ended up in Kuwait, and for the rest of my dependent life I lived there, studying first at an American private school and later at home, working and volunteering on the side.

I spent two years of university down under, learning at Hillsong’s associated college, and returned to Kuwait engaged to be married eventually and immediately engaged in active youth ministry back home in the Middle East. The next year was a tumultuous one, with the highlight being marriage to my wonderful wife, but job troubles came and we had to end our stay in Kuwait after a brief 3 months as wife and husband.

Which brought us here.

My parents were strongly evangelical, my dad particularly so. Kuwait softened, stretched and strengthened all of us, with a church that, among other things, consisted of almost 70 semi-autonomous congregations sharing the same worship compound (open to the public), and with the ‘English’ congregation consisting of an eldership where there was rarely 2 of the same nationality or denominational background represented.

The Kuwaiti leadership and the American military presence allowed me to see the genuine good in people in leadership and on the battlefields, but the scars of empire (both the far-reaching American and locally dominant Arab/Muslim) were also readily apparent; women filling their embassies to capacity trying to escape abusive employers, workers trying to earn money for their family being separated and kept from any legal recourse and abused, a stacked legal system and a political structure designed primarily for restricting control to a select few.

I learned some Arabic, forgot most, and more importantly shaped much of my worldview through these events. My life of heavy involvement in the church (as volunteer, staff, and preacher’s kid eventually) as well as observance of culture has made me incapable of ignoring the gentle beauty of a life lived for others.

But as of today, I cannot weigh that against the ills done in the same name, the rampant and abusive conceptions of religion and spirituality, the blatant hypocrisy and increasingly my own doubts in the core beliefs, and find balance. Rather, the scale has tipped in favour of agnosticism.

Nevertheless, wishing I could be as Peter Pan I stand with my shadow of Christ-filled heritage firmly attached, no matter how hard I try to shake it. I find myself between a rock and a hard place; I feel the calling of prophethood but I am too fearful to stand, too skeptical to shout, and too comfortable to live what I feel my shadow murmur.

If you are willing to accept my contributions and myself knowing this, then please, let us work together. If not, I take no offense and I thank you for the opportunity.

Again, peace to you, and all that are with you.

Jordan

Author Bio:: Jordan Peacock is about 6 feet tall and has brown eyes. He lives with his beautiful wife and daughter and works with software during the day. Music and other media surround his life, as he critiques albums, collects obsessively, reads voraciously and writes sporadically. He is an autodidact when he is not procrastinating.




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