Saturday, January 21, 2017

Today: A Message to the Church

It’s no surprise that our world is broken, it has been for a very long time. Injustice, racism, hatred, and violence, are nothing new. Humanity has done a great job of hurting itself for centuries. But in these more recent days, the blatant hatred and discord has made this reality even more obvious. I have witnessed more and more people coming forward to speak out against the wrongs, to share their experiences. And while each testimony of experienced racism, hatred, and violence sickens and pains me, I am thankful for those who are willing to raise their voices against the wrong. Oh how this world needs an antidote to itself!

The good news is that we have one, and it is more than time for the Church to rise up and share it! It is time for us to be more vocal than we have been in recent generations, to speak truth, not softly in our pulpits and homes, but loudly in the streets. Because the truth is, there will be other loud voices, speaking hatred and discord, speaking evil to our world. But we must ring out louder, with actions and words of truth and love.

Church, now is not the time to be silent. Now is not the time to let others do the work for us. Now is not the time to appeal to the masses, to bow to popular culture and the whims of the world. Now is the time for Christ to be proclaimed in word and in deed to the watching world that is so desperate for the undiluted Gospel. These are the days that we have been preparing for every time we sat through a sermon, memorized a verse, or practiced our Gospel methods. The time is now.

I implore you, if you claim to follow Jesus, if you call yourself a Christian, do not remain silent. When you see injustice, fight it. When you witness hate, confront it with Him who calls Himself Love. When you hear lies, speak the Truth with boldness. Dust off your Bible and read it with earnest. Get on your knees and pray for your communities, this country, and the world. There is only one Antidote for this world, and you know Him by name.

Church, do not turn on yourself, do not tear yourself down. Do not look to condemn those among you who are “too liberal” or “too conservative,” who voted “wrong.” The Church is the bride of Christ and He loves it dearly. Do not think you can spread hatred of the Church and not anger God. In all times and all ways, the Church must pursue unity. It is a body, one that cannot function without all parts working together in harmony. We must fight for unity.

Church, you are the hands and feet of Jesus. You do not exist to sit comfortably in your pew with your coffee and a side of condescension. You do not exist to stay in a bubble with those whose views align with yours. And above all, you do not exist to live a safe and prosperous life. In this world, you will have trials. But you are called to face the trials, to make disciples, to stand apart, and to do the will of the Father. I cannot wait to see what God does through willing and available hearts.

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