Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Mindless Overstatement--I Apologize

I need to apologize. It's been weeks since I posted--getting back in to the routine after vacation has been tough. But that's not what I'm apologizing for.

I spoke with a blog reader yesterday (thanks for your comments, Mike) and he shared that he was a bit frustrated with the way I talked about mindless giving, how I made it sound like anyone giving to a general fund was necessarily mindless when they did it. He had a good point and I'm sorry for my overstatements on this an maybe other topics.

I've been thinking about how I went wrong, and it's reminded me of go-karts. I do love go-kart racing and I think there's a good analogy here.

Go-kart racing is great fun--but it's really a smaller, tamer version of real racing. Yes, you get to press the gas pedal all the way down and you don't have to stay in a lane. But the go-kart does have governor on the engine, limiting your max speed. And the go-kart track is like one big lane you have to stay in.

Compared to actually being in a high-speed race on real roads, go-kart racing looks very restricted.

No, I haven't had the chance to do a real high-speed car chase (except for that one time chasing my friends' car at 2am when I was 18 and almost rolled the family conversion van…yeah, that's another story of poor judgment for another post).

But, to return to the metaphor, if I was used to real life chases on the road, go-karting would feel trite and tame and mindless. I would probably find myself discussing all go-kart tracks as lame.

But I'd be wrong. Not all go-kart courses are the same.

I have had the opportunity to drive on several tracks. Disney's track in the Magic Kingdom is probably the worst (it is for little kids). Your engine's governor is so strict that 10 miles an hour is a good guess on the top speed and a metal rail under your car limits your steering to 3 feet to the right or left. My six year old thought it was amazing. I only did it for her sake.

But I've also done Mario Andretti's Go-Kart course in the Atlanta area. Those karts got up to probably 45 miles an hour and you could literally spin out (I did, at least). That experience was far from tame!

And lumping Andretti's karts in with Disney's as the same experience is downright wrong.

So I need to apologize. In my excitement over the live street racing I'm doing these days (unfortunately, only metaphorically), I have come across as dismissive of many in typical churches who exceed the minimum requirement of their church model and are very thoughtful, prayerful, and Spirit-led in their giving, serving, teaching, etc.

Not all churches are the same and there are some fully engaged members in typical churches. And for implying that all typical churches are full of only mindless members, I apologize.

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