It has bothered me for a long time: Something Cane Caldo has said more than once and in various ways:
Awhile back there was a lot of conversation about the merits of posting anonymously versus writing under your legitimate name. The reason I don’t is because I don’t want Cane Caldo to be a subject of conversation at work. If that happens I’ll eventually get fired. They’ll just stop hiring me; not because I did something wrong, but because I work with a lot of women who–after hearing about what a modernist can only interpret as misogyny–will express a vague unease about me; they just would feel more “coooomfortable, you know?”, with someone else. My direct managers will happily comply with a suitable replacement.
But, honestly, the issue is that we here are–for the most part–of the conservative bent of mind, and conservatives conserve nothing as much as grace and respect. They hoard it, really. Consequently, I have zero faith that any of you would or could find me another job.
This inherent unhelpfulness does not just extend to jobs–I distinctly remember Cane (and others) pointing out how unlikely fellow Christians are to help a young man find a wife.
Basically, there is a refusal to help grow and develop men into the patriarchs we expect them to be. And then we castigate men for not meeting this standard on their own, ridicule them, and cast them down farther while demanding they rise before we help them.
It’s insane and satanic.
Thankfully, there are positive signs. I’ve been able to help some people in various ways in real life, and have both myself and other bloggers in my blogroll regularly respond to questions from men looking for advice or guidance. Vox Day regularly posts opportunities for jobs, connecting those looking for quality workers with those looking for a company that won’t fire them for their beliefs.
But when I think of Christians banding together to help one another, the model that comes to my mind is Mennonite Your Way. Basically, it is a directory of Christians that open their homes to other Christians that are traveling. As a member of a large family, I remember making use of it when we traveled. Interestingly, despite being called Mennonite Your Way, it seems to have good participation from other groups–the three times I can remember using it we stayed with a Mennonite farm family, a retired Baptist preacher and his wife, and a very rich Roman Catholic attorney and his wife.
I wonder if some similar kind of directory could be made that involves modified barter exchanges–exchanges where every “transaction” is a gift, and receives nothing in return, but every receiver gives, and every giver receives. For example, perhaps Bob is an electrician who needs several trees removed from his property. He makes his posting, which asks him what he can give (electrical work), and what he needs (tree removal). Steve, a local farmer, needs a welder. He logs on and sees that Bob needs some trees taken down, which he has the equipment for. He goes over and takes care of Bob’s trees. Meanwhile, Bob noticed that Larry, a local welder, needed some electrical work done in his shop, and takes care of that. Larry looks at the directory to see what he can give, and sees Steve needs a welder. He delivers an older, smaller welder that still works but he doesn’t use anymore to Steve.
No money changes hands, and every “transaction” is a one-way gift rather than a two-way barter. That’s with only three people. The more people participating in a general area, the better for everyone. Sort of a barter Craigslist for Christians where you freely receive and freely give.
I think this could be done, but in order to do it I would need the help of someone who knows how to design the web side of it. If you have the skills, and are interested, let me know. We would also need people who are willing to be charter members, the first to give away their various skills and services, and to talk it up in their churches and help get more members. If you have any interest, or improvements on my idea, I’d be happy to hear from you.
If we can create an attitude of giving and building up the Body of Christ, it will go far beyond the work and possessions that are given. It will change attitudes and perspectives, and lead to more giving and building up. It will lead to more young men being built up into men, more young women being build up into women, more families being built up.
It all starts with asking what you can do for your neighbor and brother in Christ.