What often triggers it is a visit to the school.

There they all are in their uniform, diverse in shape, size, features and ethnicity though they are, they are all in a uniform and are expected to abide by the principles of the school. In itself there’s not too much disturbing about that even if the real world does not operate that way at all. What is of concern, and this isn’t necessarily directed to this particular school, is the work of getting the child to conform to a system.

That system is not primarily concerned with truly helping the child to discover themselves even though the majority of time the child will spend will be in this environment. As they progress it will soon become apparent that the primary purpose of the conforming process is to produce a functioning member of society able to contribute to the social and economic wellbeing of the given community. Now that in itself doesn’t sound too bad until the realisation kicks in that the morals that underpin the society are fairly empty. Nice sentiments on the surface, but really it still boils down to doing what you can to get as much as you can while you can and jumping through the hoops of ‘success’ such as home ownership, a good credit rating and paying taxes like you know you should. Beyond that, there’s no real drive for community investment, there’s little concern for the other outside of some manners and common courtesy that won’t go far.

Come on, Christopher. I hear you might be thinking. That’s a fairly cynical approach to the world. It’s not all about being selfish and pursuing your own gains. There’s some good in the world.

Of course there’s some good in the world. There’s quite a lot of good. And quite a lot of bad. And all of that mixed in and allowed because it’s the human experience. The point, however, is that the process of conforming to certain standards is not primarily about seeking a better way for the human condition, it’s about managing and subtly reinforcing that human condition

Educational establishments, loads of workplaces, collectives of peoples from the village to the city present this invitation to conform to this world. A world floundering in the dark, and in that aspect I would expect nothing less. Well meaning though it is, the world without a compass is drifting from one blunder to another, but celebrating the fact that at least it is the captain of its own destiny even if that destiny is not a good one. That is to be expected when that is what is being expected in a world of darkness.

The trouble is when the same thing is happening from those who state they’re representing the Kingdom of Light. There’s a problem when that same conforming process takes place in a community that is meant to be founded on righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. It gets even more alarming when that is taking place but the conversation inside is more about how to organise ourselves and function while still careening far away from the transformed and transforming community God designed.

It’s a scary thing to leave a world of darkness only to find ourselves in another world of darkness that just has different music.

For His Name’s Sake


C. L. J. Dryden


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