Home Field Advantage
Dear friends, you are like foreigners and strangers in this world. I beg you to avoid the evil things your bodies want to do that fight against your soul. People who do not believe are living all around you and might say that you are doing wrong. Live such good lives that they will see the good things you do and will give glory to God on the day when Christ comes again.
For hundreds of years, Christianity has been the most popular religion in the world. When the United States of America was founded on the promise of religious freedom and over 75% of the population likely attended church each week, the groundwork was laid for a place where Christians actually felt at home. We got comfortable. Since we had a large voting majority, it became an afterthought that public policy was based on our values, even though the Constitution leaves that door wide open. So over the last 50 years, Christians have been shocked and outraged whenever a policy decision goes against the Bible. Some feel blindsided and scared. Some feel a not-so-righteous indignation. Many vocal Christians have taken up arms in the political arena, focusing on a select few issues and demanding that politicians support the Christian viewpoint.
Dear friends, you are like foreigners and strangers in this world… People who do not believe are living all around you…
While it has been an incredible blessing for our country’s policies to be shaped by Christians for so long, I think we’ve lost sight of the true power and miracle of following Jesus. Christianity shines brightest in the dark. When Christians are focused on meeting the needs of their communities, amazing things happen. When Christians are focused on controlling the government, things like crusades, inquisitions, selling indulgences, witch hunts and Starbucks cup rants happen.
When Jesus walked the Earth, people did not give their lives to Him because He had a brilliant economic policy, or because He was a Republican, or because He took over the government (like they expected Him to). They gave their lives to Jesus because love radiated from His eyes. He felt deeply for them, had compassion on them, healed them, told them they matter, and gave them hope. After He left, people continued to flock to His disciples because they were organizing grass-roots initiatives to help the poor and disadvantaged. They continued to heal people. Their words were considered good news.
Do non-believers (heck, believers even) think it’s good news that Starbucks “hates Jesus?” No! Even if it were true, nobody wants to hear about it. We want to hear about JJ Abrams, the secretive director of the new Star Wars movie, giving a sneak peak of his masterpiece to a terminally ill child. We want to hear about a brave young man taking five bullets to save his college classmates – and living to tell the tale. We want to hear about millions of dollars being raised to help end AIDS and global poverty.
Christians being loud with their actions, meeting real needs.God’s people are at their finest when rolling up their sleeves and meeting the needs of those around them. The big win for the Body of Christ in our generation is the fight against human trafficking. Christian organizations like 27Million and Love146 have stepped up and fiercely led the charge to end the terrible practice of sexual exploitation. This is what the Church should look like. Instead of worrying about the politics of issues like abortion and gay marriage, what problems can we directly solve in our communities and around the world? Show young girls how special they are. Teach boys to respect themselves and others. Stop gun violence. Fix marriage. Protect the environment. These are the things we need to spend our energy on. What do you think Jesus wants to be known for – grumpy politics, or changing the world?
Act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God. – Micah 6:8
This post was inspired by a Christianity Today article entitled “How Christians Can Flourish In A Same-Sex-Marriage World.” This is a MUST READ. You’re not allowed to read any more of my blog posts until you read it. It’s a bit long (7 pages), so set aside 15-20 minutes for it. It goes into depth about how Biblical values are no longer held by the majority in the US, and how that’s not the end of the world.