“Almost everybody out there sees our pettiness and our hypocrisy”.
The same could be said for Washington. In fact, I see a lot of parallels between the government and the Church. All the petty infighting and indignation over OUR rights and OUR agenda while those we should be fighting and working for are left to fend for themselves.
Stanley Hauerwas says that this is why Christians can’t be invested so heavily in politics. He said that because Christianity is a community based religion, that we can’t be so invested into politics who only cares about the matters of individuals.
And yet, we bring politics into the Church. I think we fool ourselves if we think because we’re not involved in secular government that we’re not being political. I think more importantly we have to reject the world’s way of doing things or we’ll bring their methods into our communities and just be a Christian imitation of the larger culture and its means that we supposedly reject.
The problem is the selection process for “selective moral enemies”. I am a Vietnamese pastor, and I’ve never heard of the statistic of the 30,000 child prostitutes are in Cambodia (but I have heard of Janet Jackson’s malfunction). I guess since we are the in the mass (targets of mass-media-communication), most of us don’t even know about other types of issues besides what we are fed. And that’s why to the world it seems like we are selecting the “wrong” targets. But as Tim Keller suggested, conservative Christians tend to fixate on sexual morality issues while liberal Christians tend to fixate on social justice issues. What we need to do is to be aware of our bias leaning and challenge ourselves to be more obedience on our weak sides.
I always knew about about these horrible situations but it wasn’t until I was touched by the Holy Spirit that I began to take action.
The more focused we are on ourselves, the greater our inability to spread Christ’s divinity.
What did the action look like?
I witnessed this a few years ago at a satellite location of the Willow Creek leadership summit. A gym full of people had been together all day watching the sessions, including several by International Justice Mission and others that told of their dramatic stories of rescuing young children from sexual slavery. But it wasn’t until a man at the end of the day talked about how someone in his church had been “delivered from homosexuality” that a chorus of “Praise Jesus!”s rang out all over the room. My heart sank.
The fact is that we as Christains don’t reserve the right to rage at anyone over their sin. We are commanded to reach out to the source of the brokenness that causes the sin in openness and love. Yes, we can passionately call out the sin. Jesus set that example a few times. But every time, even in his passion, the root of his action was love. I’m not convinced that can always be said of the American church – or at least those of us who get the press.
I think you are right Jacqui. That would have pissed me off hearing that at a conference. The arrogance and vindictive nature that we Christians can have sometime is really troubling.
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