Will We Continue To Ignore?

Posted on October 12, 2010

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Recently, I attended Catalyst (a conference for young Christian leadership) and heard some amazing messages from folks like Francis Chan, Scott Harrison (founder of CHARITY: WATER) and the Bishop T.D. Jakes. I really enjoyed the event as I had a great time hanging out with my Pastor, came back refreshed for ministry but also challenged at the same time.

But “challenged” does not even start to describe how I feel. After hearing Scott Harrison speak regarding the need for clean water I became angered. Not angry at nature or God for allowing children to grow up in a terrible situation but; angry at myself and people like me.

See, we have this view of Christianity that is purely cultural. By God, this is a Christian nation and so we believe in God. While we are at it, you better vote pro-life, watch the words you use and never under any circumstances listen to Marilyn Manson. Yet, I truly feel that we have missed the point. We might have asked God into our hearts, we may do or not do the things that our culture deems as Christian or non-Christian yet; we miss the point. We miss the whole point of the gospel. However, maybe we aren’t missing the point, perhaps we are just ignoring it all together.

When Francis Chan was giving his message to the stadium he pointed out something that just blew my mind. Europe is full of Cathedrals that have cracks in the walls. These cracks served to allow lepers to see inside the church without being inside of it. THE CHURCH IGNORED A NEED TO SUCH AN EXTENT THAT THEY BLOCKED PEOPLE FROM JOINING THEM IN WORSHIP. Francis also pointed out in Germany there were many churches set up near the train tracks. Trains would travel by as they carried loads of Jews on their way to concentration camps.  Eyewitnesses recall being told to sing louder in order to cover up the screams of the Jews. A BODY OF BELIEVERS SUNG THEIR WORSHIP SONGS LOUDER AND LOUDER IN ORDER TO IGNORE THE SCREAMS OF THE PERSECUTED JEWS! All of this caused me to think about my own country. As Americans we accepted slavery, and even supported the stance Biblically. Not too long ago segregation was the norm in the South. In fact, I live near Greensboro, NC where one of the most famous sit ins occurred.  YET, THE CHURCH IGNORED SLAVERY AND IGNORED THE HORRORS OF SEGREGATION. People were tortured because of the color of their skin and the church just sat back and ignored it!

The Church has to stop ignoring injustice. Today, we have a task ahead of us. Millions of dollars are spent on “preaching the truth” or “spreading the gospel.” Let me tell you this, Jesus never met spiritual needs without first meeting a physical need! Why are we doing this all wrong? We put “truth” at the forefront of our faith instead of putting service at the forefront. If you love Jesus, it is simply not good enough to tell others about Him. If you love Jesus you must serve people.

I am sick to death of all the need in this world. We live our posh western lives where the poorest American is still rich compared to the rest of the world. Yet, we complain about the color of the carpet in our sanctuaries. We complain because people walk into our churches wearing jeans or shorts. How about we cut the electricity off in our churches so that they become a place of discomfort… maybe when we are uncomfortable we can truly experience what God is doing. There are churches in Central America that I know of where no electricity is found and yet they are excited about what God is doing and they rejoice!

I am going to step off my soap box now. I ask that my blog readers pray with me and for me. I want to be used to change the world. I want to help people. Rather my world impact is made from within a church or within another organization. I want to be used. I want to be someone who helps to restore this broken world. I hope you wish the same for your own life.

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Posted in: Jesus, Religion