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Silent Spectators

Thanks this week to a guest contributor, one of the Back to Eden Group community – Jimmy Canali.  You can also find Jimmy at

This week’s blog will focus on the subtle virus of silence. My aim is to direct our attention to what huge portions of our western culture participate in and to spur on dialogue about what could be different about our society. I am looking for your voice in this conversation!

silencedMany institutions and cultural structures have contaminated and stupefied the masses with speechlessness. This silent spectating is the fruit of giving up our voices for the sake of being under the standard of the “pastors,” “preachers,” “teachers” and “prophets” of our day. This is considered a cultural norm.

I ask you to respond to one question as you read this blog and share your thoughts in the comment section below:

Have you ever wanted to speak out and be heard, and, if so, what would you say?

Unfortunately your voice has no place to go. This gaping void of your voice is common throughout our cultures institutional structures. This virus of silence is specifically prevalent in the North American church building, though the virus spreads into many other realms of education, business, politics, and religion. I will write specifically on the religious institution today.

My writings reflect a need to challenge what is accepted as normal and I hope to persuade you to speak out as well. The fact is, the institutions of religion are dysfunctional and unrelatable at their core.

I want to pause here for a moment and have you consider a couple things–

  • Have you participated in institutions that require little to no personal engagement on your part, but take resources from you (time, energy, $)?
  • Do you have something deep in your heart that you have wanted to voice?
  • Have there been points in your life where people in institutions stifled your voice, expressions, opinions?

I am not writing to assault people, but, to reiterate, the forms we accept as the norm and to encourage new dialogue about how our culture interacts.

Looking into the institution of the church in America, which I have personal experience participating in the past.

A common Sunday proceeds like clock work, the masses flood into the institutional religious buildings and silence ensues among the multitudes.

Their focus, their energy goes to the one…



The Pastor.

Just to the one, a man the system recognizes as the voice to the masses.

The masses listen.

Yet the coldness they are left with is the void of their voice.

A void of relational dialogue.

A void of communion.

A void of their individual contribution.

A void of challenges that will never emerge to meet another’s opinion and voice, sharpening and refining each other in the process.

Never to rise, always to sit.

That is their destiny in the system.

This lacking of a face to face interaction is the consequence of attending a service made out of invisible boundaries separating the speakers from the masses. What will we do about it? What can we do about it? Start with what’s in front of you.

Face the people.

Face the people in your life that you work with, live with, and meet up with on a daily basis.

Face them and begin a dialogue.

Start to exchange ideas, challenges, theories, and experiences.

When you face someone in relationship, you begin to see into their soul and they see into yours. You begin to have an exchange that brings nutrients to your soul. In this type of interaction you can be met with challenges, encouragements, love and the fruit is seen in growth and depth of perspective.

Yet, we are as a cultural whole like flies on dung piles perching on the pews of the past. Refusing to give up forms that no longer hold function.

Will we rise to meet those around us?

Will our voices come forth to engage in dialogue that affects our culture’s future?

While the masses commit their time, energy and money towards these institutions, they are giving, but not getting, anything substantial in this exchange.

Now, what if things were different?

What if our culture had community expressions bursting with entrepreneurial insight, helpful activism, creativity, art, and relationship?

Let’s take the first step together, share your voice in comment section: Have you ever wanted to speak out and be heard, and if so what would you say?

To a different drum beat,


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