As I have attempted to delivery the words that I feel God is placing in my heart about the church and this great nation, I find myself making sweeping statements, statements that for some are too broad for the truth. My own wife challenges me; surely not all churches have missed the mark? I’m just not sure that we are talking about the same thing.
In our own community, some churches are doing an awesome job, raising up leaders through the scouting program, serving hundred’s of pounds of food through local food pantry’s to families otherwise beaten down by the recent economic fiasco.
One church in our community single-handedly took on the overflow of the homeless population, opening their new gym to those who would otherwise find themselves cold and alone in the streets. My own church has led a movement to provide an annual Christmas celebration for the entire city, now joined by scores of other churches.
What about those individual God-fearing believers in the community, those who worship regularly, tithe consistently, providing offerings well beyond their “fair share,” even providing leadership for the community through various commissions and elected offices. Those are to be applauded and in fact, I hope I am included in their ranks.
While all that is good and may represent what most feel church should be about, we have to look at the bigger picture as well…the long term sustainable impact on our nation and our globe. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believed in Him should not perish but have eternal life”…“and have it more abundantly.” Now that’s a sweeping statement, and I can hear the churchmen thinking, that’s why we have our own world missions programs…but something is wrong with our outputs?
While we continue to do all of the above, our nation falls deeper into debt each day; our leaders continue to foster a growing gap between wealth and poverty, the haves and the have-nots (even health-care is now in debate). Our public schools are becoming second-rate (again some, in fact many of those within our own community are superlative) but over all, “Houston, we have a problem!”
We are now hearing that even our scientists are padding data for the sake of political philosophies around global warming; that’s immoral! As well, if we are in more than just a natural meteorological cycle, and the globe on which we have been placed as stewards is at peril, to risk its demise simply so we can make higher profits and pay more massive bonuses to CEO’s is also immoral. Interestingly we have Christians on both sides of all these issues! Where is the discernment, a gift of the Holy Spirit that is just as readily available to believers as the salvation mentioned in the sweeping statements of the Apostle John above?
Will the church hold off on its reform until China pulls our credit, or the dollar diminishes to the point that Wal-Mart no longer imports to America, but focuses its best products on a wealthier consumer…probably the same country from whom we are now borrowing?
Sweeping statements or at least big picture accountability is sometimes necessary in a wake up call!