If you want to build a religion that spreads, here are some things to build into it:
* Bias for evangelism
* Sharp distinction between insiders and outsiders
* Presumption that insiders are 'right' or 'blessed' or 'advantaged'
* Proscription against intermarriage without conversion
* Forbid one gender to work outside the home
* Central hierarchy that maintains the faith and settles disputes
* Offer significant (very) long-term benefits to believers
Very few organizations have the ability to deliver on all of these opportunities, but in the secular world, many brands do most of them. This works for Harley-Davidson (and certainly the Hells Angels). It works for the latest teenage trends. It works for some politicians. It even works for some computer operating systems and languages.
According to the Times, the Zoroastrians are fading away because they believe being good is just about enough and didn't build enough of the elements of an ideavirus into their culture. As they traveled the world, their attitude and hard work rewarded them with success and the ability to mix with other cultures. As a result, they were successful as a people but a failure as a long-term growing religion. It's a fascinating choice, isn't it?
I wrestled with his ideas and tried to applied to a Christain beleif. Thats when I found this trackback which I thought was very well done. It is from a guy called John Laeger. You can view it here
Who knows maybe I'll blog more frequently...
1. He lived his life to the fulliest. In full tecnocolour. Regardless of the danger, he was where his passion was. He had the disciplines to live his passion. I'm sure when his children were born that he entertained thoughts of being more conservative - easing off a bit perhaps- but my guess is this would have been for a mere nano second - becuase he's who he is and that's how he can offer so much. I have heard both in general comment and in the media people say there's risk invovled with what he did, and sooner or later it was gonna catch up with him. Some people even say he's crazy and well that's why he died. I find crazy and normal/abnormal relative words and well have different meanings to different folk. My crazy is anothers sane. So was he really that crazy? I think not. I think that the majority of people fear the pursuit of their passion, and after runing their passion through the risk analysis app, decide to stick with the monochrome tones of life(if at all they know what they're passion is) In all his life Steve lived it in full technocolour. I cannot help but admire that.
2. The second thing that I cannot but admire is how he delivered is cause. Plain and simple he made himself likeable - and once you liked Steve, it was only a matter of time until you would like and support his cause for conservation. This angle is subtle but IMHO can provide much more return on investment. Comparing this to other conservation organisations who tend to communictae their opinions in more confrontational means, Steve's modus operrandi still have a much broder appeal. This can be seen by the tributes at his zoo. I suspect this will have an effect long after he is laid to rest.
What excits me most is that this example Steve has set can be applied by all. In Christain circles the Steve's MO makes plain sense. If God has a plan for you then surely it makes sense to find out what it is and make it happen. Live it in full technocolour. Do not settle for the monochrome tones of life, no matter how much resistance you face nor how much discipline it takes.
And what better way to share to love of Christ than to be likeable. Surely you'll have much less resistance to the cause of Christ if people like you. More people have respect(maybe tolerence) for Christianity when you speak of Michael Jones and Inga the winger as opposed to say Brain Tamaki, yet all fight for the cause of Christ.
I think a better metric to use is not how long(or short) you live, but perhaps what you've done. Take this comparsion - if you lived twice as long as Steve, but only acheived half as much as Steve, then Steve would of acheived 25% more. Makes me think.
Thanks for everything Steve.