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Theological Thursdays: Is it over? For our schools?

If Harold Camping is right, this will be my last submission to Buffalo Rising.

Now, I have no problem with going on record in saying ahead of time that Camping is not only wrong in his date (I know–risky, right?) but in his whole understanding of eschatology (the study of “Last Things“).

That, however, is not my primary concern.  What’s interesting to me is that rarely is there such a clear test of whether people believe what they say they believe.

At least a few people are taking him seriously, selling all of their possessions, budgeting so that at 6pm on Saturday, everything is spent, and making no provision for tomorrow.  On the other hand, Camping’s only radio station is continuing to program shows, book appointments, and file tax
beyond the day they anticipate God taking them up into heaven.

While I disagree the followers of Camping that sold everything, and feel sorry for the way that they have been deceived, I do admire them for following through on their beliefs. 

This hits me personally this week, because I am preparing to preach on Acts 2:44-47 at Lafayette Church.  It makes sense, according to the stated beliefs of many Christians (myself included) to liquidate assets and give them to the poor–not because we’re about to get sucked up into heaven, but because we believe that all possessions are rightly God’s, and that God especially loves poor people.

And yet here I am, in one of the poorest cities in the US, and I have more assets this year than last year.  If Acts 2 describes what Christians do, can I rightly call myself a Christian?

Locally, we can see this struggle between our stated beliefs and our actions in the reaction to last week’s school boycott.  Critics of last weeks boycott said that we shouldn’t boycott a school because it sends the message that education is unimportant.  Many of those same critics, however, have fled the Buffalo City Schools by moving to the suburbs or enrolling in other schools.  What message does that send?  If a city school is not worthwhile for your child, why should it be worthwhile for another?

On the other hand, if you really do believe that the schools are not providing an education, and that the children are better served by staying home, then why send the kids back to school on Tuesday?  Would it not be better to organize a home-schooling effort?

This week, I’ve been reminded that its worthwhile to examine my beliefs by considering the logical outcome of said beliefs, and whether or not I can behave in a consistent manner.    It’s easy to say we believe in city schools, parental involvement, justice for poor people, or that Buffalo is rising.  Our plans demonstrate what we really think.

Written by RaChaCha


RaChaCha is a Garbage Plate™ kid making his way in a Chicken Wing world. Since 2008, he's put over a hundred articles on here, and he asked us to be sure to thank you for reading. So, thank you for reading. You may also have seen his freelance byline in Artvoice, where he writes under the name his daddy gave him [Ed: Send me a check, and I might reveal what that is]. When he's not writing, RaChaCha is an urban planner, a rehabber of houses, and a community builder. He co-founded the Buffalo Mass Mob, and would love to see you at the next one. He represents Buffalo Young Preservationists on the Trico roundtable. If you try to demolish a historic building, he might have something to say about that. He is a proud AmeriCorps alum.

Things you may not know about RaChaCha (unless you read this before): "Ra Cha Cha" is a nickname of his hometown. (Didn't you know that? Do you live under a rock?) He's a political junkie (he once worked for the president of the Monroe County Legislature), but we don't really let him write about politics on here. He helped create a major greenway in the Genesee Valley, and worked on early planning for the Canalway Trail. He hopes you enjoy biking and hiking on those because that's what he put in all that work for. He was a ringleader of the legendary "Chill the Fill" campaign to save Rochester's old downtown subway tunnel. In fact, he comes from a long line of troublemakers. An ancestor fought at Bunker Hill, and a relative led the Bear Flag Revolt in California. We advise you to remember this before messing with him in the comments. He worked on planning the Rochester ARTWalk, and thinks Buffalo should have one of those, too (write your congressman).

You can also find RaChaCha (all too often, we frequently nag him) on the Twitters at @HeyRaChaCha. Which is what some people here yell when they see him on the street. You know who you are.

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