What’s happening in Baltimore? Right now, it’s more complicated than this blog could possibly explain…
However, Baltimore was also popularized with the rendering of the 2002 – 2008 HBO television cop show called “The Wire”. To be truthful, this is not a show that I would recommend. There were incredible amounts of profanity, violence, sex and drug use. Interestingly enough though, the use of profanity, violence, sex and drug use (depicted in the series) are symptomatic to the desperate social, economic conditions of perhaps “any given Sunday” inner city environment. I’m guessing that the producer opted in creating a realistic, raw, adult representation of what things really look like. (It’s not for the faint of heart, that’s for sure.)
The viewer realizes very quickly that every character is more than just flawed, and they are great distances from perfection. As a matter of fact, there are equal opportunities of corruption, and genuine bad stuff portrayed by men and women, gay and straight characters, politicians and citizens, cops and criminals. There is no one who is good. The moral line is shaded and elusive. The “good guys” aren’t always good, and the “bad guys” aren’t always bad. Moral relativism rules the day like the t-rex hero of Jurassic Park (the first one, which incidentally was the best.)
One consistent observation I noticed was the lack of fathers. (It was glaringly obvious during a heart breaking Season Four which focussed on education, following a group of young male characters and there descent into manhood.) Mind you, there were plenty of male influences, but many of them were bad, and few were good. The critical mass of positive male influences was critically low. (I wonder if the lack of direct fathering, positive direct fathering, is not the greater issue in these circumstances.)
We need an army of men to lead our sons and mentor the fatherless into authentic manhood and masculinity which focuses on relationships in three realms: relationship with God, relationship with people, and relationship with their environment.
Relationship with environment refers to the reality in Genesis chapter 2 that God made purpose and work for Adam (the first male prototype). God created the “garden” before He created the man. God had every intention for Adam to take a “tending” role in his environment.
Purpose. Meaning. Employment. Spiritual Relationship. (They seem to be lacking at times.) Are these our Achilles heel? Does this lack account for some of the failure amoung men and emerging men encounter?
Fast forward to Baltimore. The issues are real, deep and complicated, but I feel that taking up more responsibility of mentorship and leadership as men must be at least one of the keys to the solution.
In The Wire, does art imitate reality, or is it the other way around? It’s debateable, but here is an interesting conclusion…
Despite the language, sex, drug use and societal despair, in the end, the earthly hopelessness of our insurmountable social problems can find optimism in the divine, within relationship with Jesus Christ.
(Kind of a weird thing to take away from the show… eh?)
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Saturday May 23, 2015 the Men’s Group at Erie Street Gospel Centre will be hosting our 3rd annual “Young Men’s Summit.” (in Oshawa at 17 Erie Street, 1-4 PM) The focus will be on Mentorship, Employment and Purpose. Join us as we engage in a conversation with our special forum guests.
Please register at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 905-433-1438 -as a free lunch will be provided.