Iconoclasm

I’m pretty sure that I drive my friends crazy sometimes. Maybe often.  I’m not sure, because they don’t tell me, but in my minds eye, I imagine them shaking their heads after reading my ramblings and wondering why I write what I write, or say what I say when I could spend my time being positive and spreading sunshine and roses and puppy dog tales.  Perhaps I’m wrong about that.  Maybe some will tell me one way or the other.

I figured it might be helpful to lift the hood and give you a bit of insight into the inner workings of Rich Carey’s mind, and since this blog is essentially my personal platform of pontification, seems like the best place to do it.  So here goes.

Even as a small child I was overly inquisitive about how things work. My mother loves to tell people how I used to disassemble perfectly good toys to discover what was inside.  Indeed, many of my early childhood memories include performing exploratory surgery on many of my Christmas presents – for example, talking stuffed toys.  Before the days of tiny computer chips, we used to pull a ring attached to a string that hung from the side of, say, a small Herman Munster action figure (I’d say doll, but real boys don’t play with dolls) whereupon one would hear Herman Munster’s voice mysteriously emanating from his chest, uttering the phrases he was most famous for on his weekly TV show.

There was of necessity only a small handful of phrases and sounds he could utter, so the novelty wore off rather quickly, probably before New Years Day rolled around.  Curiosity as to the exact nature of this voice technology began to build within me exponentially as the days wore on.  One could feel a hard, square box on the working end of the string buried within his otherwise pillow-soft chest.  As curiosity increased, my fondness for Herman’s voice was overcome by the irresistible urge to perform exploratory surgery.  Of course, in doing so, there was a strong likelihood that the patient would not survive the surgery.  On top of that, there would surely be repercussions from my parents, who (to this day) could not understand why I would subject my new toys to a premature death.

As you probably have guessed by now, my youthful wisdom prevailed and a voiceboxectomy was performed.  Upon removing the mysterious box, I remember being initially disappointed, since the voicebox itself was (unlike today’s toys), quite sturdy; seemingly built to survive a nuclear attack by the Russians.  (We need not even question the value of a Herman Munster doll on the Day After).  It would not yield it’s secrets easily, and it was not like I could just put it back in as though nothing had happened.  Yet, I was not going to be easily deterred by their meager attempts to conceal their mysterious technology from me (any Idaho boy who knows the value of a good hammer), so further disassembly was deemed necessary and thus performed.

For the sake of time, I’m tempted to refrain from telling you the secret of the voicebox, since it has absolutely no bearing on the issue at hand, yet to avoid being deluged by angry emails from frustrated readers, full disclosure is prudent.  The secret of the voicebox was a small, windup record player.  Quite ingenious for it’s day, really.  I found other uses for it over time, transplanting Herman’s voice into various other inappropriate but humorous locations.

As I grew older, my desire to discover how things work never waned, but rather intensified.  I moved on to electric motors, switches, radios, televisions (though sparks flew and electrical shocks were not uncommon, by the grace of God I survived), and eventually, my favorite toys of all – personal computers.

I’ve had the good fortune to transform this talent for understanding how things work into a career of sorts.  I was a journeyman machinist prior to starting my own computer company.  Anyone who knows me well knows that I like to fix broken things if they can be fixed and are of sufficient complexity to challenge me (cars and plumbing are most definitely NOT challenging, so don’t call). My wife even calls me “Macguyver” whenever I fix something around the house (such a term of endearment).

Many years ago, I became aware of and accepted the high calling upon my life as an apostle and ambassador of the King.  Since then, I’ve naturally been drawn to dissect what we call Church, seeking to discover what works and what doesn’t and try to find ways to fix what is broken.  Where other leaders appear to me to be content to leave well enough alone and just “trust God”, I cannot.  My worldview includes a prevailing understanding of man’s call to walk in dominion, responsibility and stewardship.  Where others see problems only God can solve, I see problems that God has called us to solve – not without Him, but in partnership with Him.

You see, I take this idea of “seeking first the Kingdom” very seriously. Faith is not “belief“, which is generally defined by western culture as “intellectual assent“.  Atheists argue that they don’t “believe” in the existence of God.  They mistakenly think (as many Christians do) that believing in the existence of God makes one a believer.  But this is not biblically accurate.  True belief involves faith, and faith involves action.  James said, “Even the devil believes, and trembles” and “faith without works is dead“.  Jesus said he who believes does the work.  Some of that work surely involves tearing things down, taking things apart, and stepping into confrontation with the powers of darkness as they manifest in the lives of people, systems, and the institutions of society.

Understanding the true nature of faith as an action is a key principle of the Kingdom. Mere intellectual assent is a pathetic substitute, and this false “faith” has incapacitated the Church.  When the Church rises up and starts walking in true faith, translating knowledge into actions that move beyond the realm of “I believe”, the Kingdom grows.  Apart from action, our believing is not faith, it is merely knowledge at best.

What does all this have to do with iconoclasm? Since many people do not know what iconoclasm means, here’s a definition from Wikipedia:

Iconoclasm, Greek for “image-breaking”, is the deliberate destruction within a culture of the culture’s own religious icons and other symbols or monuments, usually for religious or political motives. It is a frequent component of major domestic political or religious changes.

…People who engage in or support iconoclasm are called iconoclasts, a term that has come to be applied figuratively to any person who breaks or disdains established dogmata or conventions.

Thus, at the very core of my being, I’m iconoclastic. I’m fully aware that this is not the best way to make friends, and I’m going to be misunderstood, falsely accused, maligned, persecuted, and possibly even martyred someday.  This is somewhat problematic for me, because I truly have a tender heart and want people to love me and appreciate what I’m doing.  But deep within me is a knowing that I was born to pluck up, to tear down, and to clear the way for the coming of the King.  More than one prophet has used the term “bulldozer” when giving me a personal prophetic word.

So, regardless of how it may seem to others, I’m not tearing things down (i.e. shooting holy cows) indiscriminately, or to hurt people’s feelings, or just to cause trouble (although I must admit, I do enjoy it too much sometimes).  I’m trying, in my own often frustrating ways to point out what is broken, and hopefully to provide possible answers for our problems.  I refuse to sit silently by and not let my faith translate into action.

Mind you, I want to be teachable, and correctable by those who love me.  But if you think I’m wrong, you better come to me with something more than someone’s hurt feelings.  If you want to change my mind, you’d be advised to bring good arguments that can be substantiated by hard evidence because chances are, I’ve done my homework.

I’m looking for my tribe – a group of people who are unafraid to ask hard questions and to find out why things are the way they are.  I want to walk with people that are willing to risk breaking some things for the promise of a better world.  I want to feel the thrill of standing upon the rubble of the devil’s kingdom with a tribe of iconoclasts who were willing to put it all on the line for the adventure of a lifetime and the reward of setting a generation free to become all that they were created to be.

So again I ask – is anybody with me?

Silence isn’t always golden; sometimes it’s just yellow. (Selah)

Published in: on December 5, 2008 at 9:52 pm  Comments (8)