If you believe that what happened in Uvalde, Texas, was an act of evil, this post is for you.
If you are tired of the way our world is becoming more divided and divisive, this post is for you.
If you consider yourself a Christian and to be redeemed by the blood of Christ, this is post is for you especially.
I am angry.
I am angry at Christians on the “right” who get defensive when tragedies involving “our rights” happen.
I am angry at Christians on the “left” who use tragedies to throw accusations at those who disagree with them about those rights.
I’m angry at Christians in the middle who throw their hands up and claim there is nothing that can be done because the world is “full of sin.”
Every single one of us is guilty of using events like this to promote ungodly and unholy agendas. Either through an intentional act or by passive disengagement. And you know how I know, because the gospel is only a byline to the tragedy.
The comfort God supplies is used as just a platitude we throw out there to sound spiritual. And that right before we launch into “what we really want to say.”
I am so angry.
I’m angry because we keep talking like the world. Thinking like the world. Engaging with each other about the social ills we face like the world.
We have placated the world, accommodated the world, compromised with the world, and even prostituted ourselves to the world.
And for what?! To be liked? To be accepted? To make the Gospel more palatable and the Church more respectable? To be allowed access to what the world has defined as success or affirmation?
Stop it! Stop it! Stop it!
This approach by the Church to engaging the world has been proven a failure. And we look like fools for continuing to use these approaches.
These strategies and methods are not working because they are not biblical. They cannot produce the transformation the human soul needs. And they are incongruent with the character of God.
And for those wondering what I mean when I say “the world”, let me tell you what I mean. It is the way of living that seeks its own way and pleasure rather than the way of obedience to God in Christ. It is a way of looking at life that is defined by selfishness, “winning”, and self-righteousness.
It is marked by posturing and virtue signaling and the pretense of looking like Jesus, being near to Jesus, but never actually embracing the life of Jesus. Never fully appreciating that anonymity is closer to the goal, and not some bug to the outworking of holiness in our lives.
We keep talking about God but haven’t truly spent any real time with him.
We keep preaching about the gospel but haven’t really been convicted to the point of contrition and transformed by it to such a degree we mourn our former ways of life.
We keep calling people to repent of sin but are walking around with logs in our eyes the size of redwoods.
We talk about what needs to change and cry out for revival in our nation while at the same time holding onto the millstones that have been drowning us in the oceans of sin and worldliness.
And then, when tragedy after tragedy happens, we become as shrill and incoherent as the supposed pundits who are “looking out” for us.
This vacillating makes us idolatrous. Not wise. Not shrewd. Not contextual. Not culturally sensitive.
It makes us hypocrites. And charlatans.
There are too many claiming to be emissaries of Jesus who have become prophets in the service of false gods. Who function more like priests in the temples of the same rather than a royal priesthood in the kingdom of God.
When evil like we have seen in the last couple of weeks, and years, rears its head, the church should be the first to show the world how to mourn with those who are mourning. To weep for the innocence lost and the hopes fractured by the wickedness of broken people.
When the world sees the members of the body of Christ engaging in the same finger-pointing as the rest of the world, we have become the salt that has lost its saltiness. We have moved from abdicating our moral authority to participating in the moral corruption of the world.
The people of God should be the first to call out the evil, especially from those on “our side.” Or did we think those around us don’t notice our duplicity?
Do we actually think we can give them a pass because they are like “us?” Because they are on the “right side” of history (and it always seems to be “our side”). We should not only be ashamed of behaving like this, we should be revolted. We should be disgusted with not just our cowardice but in too many cases our complicity.
And just so we are all clear, I’ve had it with political Christianity. The kind of Christianity that uses faith as an excuse for politicizing and justifying anything and everything they think is right.
I hate it with every fiber of my being.
When our primary framework as Christians is political in nature, we have become more secular than holy. We have surrendered the moral ground and ceded it to the enemy of our souls.
What is happening around us may look like physical warfare, but it’s not. This is a spiritual war. This is why using the methods of the world will fail us over and over again. And yes, spiritual warfare often has catastrophic physical consequences. But not recognizing what is happening around and behind the visible tragedy is a terribly short-sighted understanding of what is happening.
The political approach is a failed endeavor for the Church. And those who continue to use it will become victims of their own self-deception.
The reason I hate the political methodology is because it is a lie. It is based on the same premise that sent the human race into the fall—that we can know good and evil and live. No, we cannot. That is the principal lesson of the Garden. With knowledge comes responsibility. And with that responsibility accountability.
For the Church, the political arena is the fountainhead of death in our world. And it tricks us into thinking we are making a difference. It seduces us with promises of being “agents of change” or “making a difference”. Welcome to the failures of the Maccabean revolution and the betrayal of Judas.
If our worldview is framed by the political ideas of the world we cannot be a Christian who properly reflects the character of God. But if we are trying to be Christians whose understanding of the word is constrained by the revelation of God, then we must reject the use of politicized language, rhetoric, and accusations outright. We must work harder to be charitable with those we disagree with. Not less.
And don’t confuse what I’ve just said with being engaged in the civic process. We can be good citizens without becoming ideologues. And to think it can’t be done is to misunderstand the very power of the Gospel. It’s to accept the notion that engaging in the civic process requires a conversion from Christianity. Or at minimum a compromising of our faith.
It has become clear to me that in the eyes and minds of too many, both inside and outside the Church, there is no tangible difference between the world and the people of God. And that is not the world’s fault. That’s on us as the Church.
We are the ones bringing disrepute to the name of Christ. We are the ones smudging the spotless dress of Christ’s bride with the filth of this world. We are the ones scandalizing the world by creating confusion and fomenting apostasy through our inconsistent witness. That’s an “us” problem.
To all the Christians talking about ____ today… WE are the problem.
When we don’t love our neighbors because we don’t know them… we are the problem.
When we don’t forgive those who have wronged us because they deserve what’s coming to them… we are the problem.
When we don’t turn the other cheek or go the extra mile because that is a violation of my rights… we are the problem.
When we wax more eloquent on political talking points than the gospel of life…. We are the problem.
When we moralize tragedies for political advantage and excuse wickedness out of fear… we are the problem.
When we stand in judgment over each other as self-appointment executioners of God’s holiness… we are the problem.
When we think we know what’s wrong with the world and have “the” solution… we are the problem.
When we allow our emotions to be enflamed by those who neither know God nor are led by God… we are the problem.
When we abandon the Truth for the next and newest cultural phenomenon… we are the problem.
We can continue to get disappointed at a world ruled by sin and wickedness. Or we can do what we were saved to do.
The tools, definitions, rhetoric, and mechanisms of the world will not address or solve what is wrong in the world. Every time we think they will, every time we substitute what God gave us for what some other fallen person has invented we will fail. And we will continue to fail until we surrender our wills and our wisdom to God.