A Fickle Flame
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Have you noticed the apparent fickleness of the Christian church regarding its place in the public life of America? By this I mean that the church often seems to blow very hot or very cold in daily life. It seems that the only thing we get excited about or willing to go the extra mile for are things that make us mad. Take the Alabama Ten Commandments monument or the issue of gay “marriage” in Massachusetts and San Francisco. These sorts of things will arouse vast numbers of Christians in righteous indignation. These, along with abortion, are about all that will do that though. Almost every other issue is treated with apathy and resignation by the vast majority of Christians. Of course there are still groups and organizations dedicated to preserving our biblical traditions and Western civilization, but they are few.
No, on the whole most people who go by the name of Christian are at best indifferent in any meaningful way to the lot of society or their fellow man. We will engage with our close friends from time to time on these topics. There is no depth to them though, no change. We are mainly seeking someone to agree with us that the world is evil and going to hell. We seem to have no drive at all to see that world, or at least as many as possible, turn from their ways and accept the Faith. We would rather yell and wave our fists at them than reason with them and love them. It almost seems, God forbid, that we don’t want them to be saved.
I know that seems harsh, but I challenge you to think deep within yourself, and also to look very critically at the activities of the church as a whole regarding our attitude toward gays, drug addicts, atheists, and the abortion culture. I know full well that there are churches out there as well as individuals that are desperately seeking to bring these people to the knowledge of Christ with as much love and compassion as they can. I also know that they are probably a minority. Most it seems are content to criticize but not to get up and do the work necessary to show those living in darkness that there is an eternal light to live in. We have grown cold and cynical. I know this because I am as guilty of it as anyone could be. I am admittedly still cynical, but I hope not so cold anymore.
How then do we rectify such a situation? Surely it cannot be pleasing to God that we treat sinners in such a way. Considering where He brought us from it is the pinnacle of hypocrisy for us to disdain those who do not yet know Him. What would it be like if Christ had the same attitude toward those who do not yet believe? Could any of us be saved like that? It is time not only for prayer but for action. We must start to approach not only the debate but the people themselves with a new light in our eyes that sees them as worth saving. How else can we ever make any kind of difference?
The church is the only source of light pointing to salvation in the world. Yet we often treat the world like a redheaded step child. Unwanted and uncared for, only criticized. Perhaps the most damaging part is that the world full well realizes that this is what we are doing. If this is to be the damning attitude the church displays and says it represents Christ, who would want to know more about Him? Few I imagine.
Now, in America especially, with a public discourse going on about Jesus Christ and just who exactly He is, we have a rare opportunity. We have a chance to not only tell who He is but to show the kind of love He did. We can reach out to the lost and the burdened in a way that perhaps we have not as of late. Not to accept their sins, but to accept them as humans, flawed and failed as we all are, but taken in by a loving God if we will only believe and obey. I think the first step is to recognize and then live the fact that we are not the center of all things. God is. We are must step out of the limelight and give Him the glory. Then perhaps we can begin to see others as He sees us.
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