Posted on August 15, 2017 Article from The Messengerin
When I was in Morgantown, it was easy to preach against the problems of inner city Pittsburgh. Pitt stinks!!! Today, sitting in Marshall's backyard, it's easy for me to address the drunken behavior of WVU as the #1 party school. If I need some easy cheers and applause, just a little shot at those Moutaineers is the easiest way to go!
It's no challenge for me to rally the troops in my congregation (or my Facebook page) to confront an issue on which 99.9% of my friends find agreement. I think if you’ve been around me very long, I’m not one to tickle people’s ears and tell everyone what they want to hear. So last Sunday I didn't look to Charlottesville and condemn those actions, or condemn Hitler, or Stalin or the murder rate in Chicago. Everybody in our congregation knows those things are bad. I don’t have to make public statements reaffirming the obvious week after week.
You see, we can come up with resolutions and statements and even sermons on racism, murder, drug dealers, human trafficking, etc.... but if we REALLY want to confront these things, we need to take sport teams to Muslim villages and play ball with them, we need to go make friends with some white supremacists and welcome them to my church, we need to visit the murderer on death row or have dinner with the abortion doctor, we need to spend time with people struggling with addiction and hang out with them during a picnic, we need to open a home for sexually abused girls next to my church and help get them job education, and try to show all of them the love of Christ. Condemning people doesn't change people. For God so loved the world, he didn't just make laws, He sent His Son to live among us. (cf. Jesus & Simon the Pharisee Lk. 7; Jesus with all of us John 1:14).
I think individuals in our church are doing many of these things to make a real difference. At the same time, we all need to be asking, “What am I doing today to love the world like Jesus does?”
What are you doing today?