A Unique Local Public
Reading Response 4
In “Community Literacy and the Rhetoric of Local Publics,” Elenore Long addresses questions regarding ordinary people and how and where they use their literary and rhetorical abilities to go public. She states that the motivator for ordinary people to participate in decision-making procedures stems from the fact that these decisions can fundamentally regulate their lives. Now there are many different publics, or what Long refers to local publics, within a community such as school organizations, sports clubs, work unions and religious institutions in which literacy is practiced in different ways and often directed by the institution it is affiliated with. This made me consider how I engage in the public and whether or not my engagement is dictated by my affiliation of certain institutions.
Fist of all, I believe that no one is ever left out from engagement in the public. Not saying anything, and being passive in it of itself is saying a lot. Every human being reacts to change or the lack of change for that matter and this gets noticed by others around them which eventually trickles down to someone making a conclusion about a matter and through literacy expressing a certain opinion. This fits in with the way I handle issues concerning institutions’ decisions that may affect my life. Up until recently I have not published my opinions on the Internet or written an article on a newspaper, however I am part of the public just like anyone else and thus taken into account by those who feel like they need to be heard to make an impact. That being said, although I am not too involved politically I still do take part in the public, but through a distinct local public, in a completely different way.
How do I, an ordinary man involve myself with the public? I would say that a huge involvement in my life is the “church-life”. I belong to a community of believers of God (who’s mystery is Christ and Christ, who’s mystery is the church). Within the church community we have the practice of going public in a distinct way that is recorded in the Bible nearly 2000 years ago. In 1st Corinthians 14 Paul the apostle says that all (believers) can prophesy one by one. This word prophesy does not merely mean to foretell the future but mainly to speak for Christ and speak forth Christ from our spirits. Every week we meet as the church (in Greek the word church is ekklesia, which mean literally means ‘the called out ones’, not a place but the people) where a prophesying meeting is conducted by all of the attendees. We practice to speak our enjoyment of Christ through His Word that we have enjoyed throughout the week. The goal is not to address social problems or to give political opinions but to dispense the Spirit as the essence of our enjoyment into the other members for encouragement and for the building up of the church, the Body of Christ.
Just like any other local public our literacy and rhetoric is influenced by a vision. In the church-life we exercise not to focus too much in the world situation although they may affect our lives. What we are more concerned with is God’s desire being carried out on the earth, as it is in heaven, to build up the universal church for His satisfaction.