There's lots of talk these days about “racial profiling” - the use of race (and often nationality or religious affiliation) to identify a person as a potential evil-doer. Truth is, just by walking around in these earth-suits, every one of us has that same propensity.
As a dark-skinned person with a beard, I've been asked by Middle-Easterners here in Texas if I were Muslim. I've never blamed airport security for the times they've selectedme from a group so I could be “patted down.” I can't blame them a bit. So, if you're lilly white and get selected from the line at the airport, remember that.
If a nation's government feels the need to begin taking naked pictures of its citizens before they board a plane, well... I blame The Church. We've brought this upon ourselves for not doing a better job of evangelizing and discipling Planet Earth. What else can we expect but a manmade response to that which, at its essence, is a spiritual matter?
Let's consider something even more important than racial profiling. I call it Spiritual Profiling.
If we were randomly selected by the government on a house-to-house search - using Spiritual Profiling – what would be their final determination that we were guilty of being “Followers of the teachings of Jesus Christ” (FTJC)?
Think carefully: Their findings might cause them to label us according to the teachings of a denomination with whom we were affiliated, but that does NOT mean we would be considered FTJC. That would, however, be the case if there were any evidence that Jesus did the things we're accustomed to doing in our church gatherings. Let's examine those.
For starters, Jesus never even attended a church so, that alone would disqualify most of us.
We have no record that Jesus ever baptized anyone, ever took communion, ever preached Sunday sermons, ever taught a “Sinner's Prayer” or a “Profession of Faith.” That would eliminate many of our church leaders. We DO know that He said He came as an example, that He healed the sick, the lame and the blind, raised the dead and cast out demons.
Anybody doing those things? At times, we actually teach AGAINST these practices.
We CAN read the Biblical accounts of how He ate at other people's homes and even taught in the marketplace. As a Workplace Chaplain, I can attest to how often many of us seem to struggle with sharing our faith in the marketplace, having fallen for the “Church 'n State” deception.
Jesus seemed to love children, prostitutes, drunks, lepers and tax collectors while we prefer them at arm's length (if even that close), or in another room at best.
Jesus forgave people - taught it and lived it. We divorce, hate, betray, gossip, back-stab, and our church splits and closures are legion.
If Spiritual Profiling were unleashed upon those who refer to themselves as FTJC, I'm afraid most of us – the vast majority – would be released for lack of evidence. At least a terrorist – even the recent knicker-burner who was willing to toast his private parts in the name of Allah – leaves no doubt of his level of commitment.
Do any of us DARE to ask why we do the “safe” things we do – referring to much of it as worship” - and shy away from that which Jesus exemplified which got Him crucified?
Do any of us DARE to ask why all things spiritual are left to one or two special people in our gatherings while the majority are programmed to be bored, tithing, singing spectators bound by their own unworthiness?
If there's anybody out there who desires to get “busted” when the Spiritual Profiling begins – if it were to begin – the line forms here and now, right behind Jesus our King.