The Current State of Things

[Updated 10/1]

I don’t mean to play the genius card here, but our economy is in trouble.  The banks have given out too much money, people have spent too much money, and now we have to have our government (who has its own budgeting/spending/saving issues) bail us out.  We have two presidential candidates that think they have the answer (I don’t think either does, but that’s another blog) and here we, the people, are trying to figure it all out.

What if this is all the fault of the Christian community?

Think about, if born-again Christians created culture rather than copy (sour) it, if we took care of the poor and needy, if lived financially responsible lives, if we took responsibility for loving all of those around us in every possible and appropriate way, what would be the state of things?

Since the Mayflower landed on Plymouth all those centuries ago, there has been a disconnect between potential and actuality.  The Puritans saw the New World as having the potential to worship God openly and freely without harassament from the government.  The Southern Gentlemen Planters saw an opportunity to own land, make a lot of money, and to expand their fortunes.  The Revolutionaries saw hope in mankind’s ability to think for himself, to govern himself, and to defend freedom.  Emerson and Thoreau saw the potential for individuality and uniqueness needed to disperse the social herd.  And here were are, with shelves of history behind us, bankrupt, godless, fewer American freedoms than ever before, and a social train railroaded with materialism and consumerism.

Amongst all of this, the Church tries to legislate morality–does abortion really matter if a teenage mother is never shown the love and Gospel of Christ?  Does prayer in school matter when those kids fighting for it refuse to build friendships with those outside the Christian faith?  Is homosexuality a political issue where we have to look to old millionaires for a definitions?  Are Christians trying to keep up with the Jones or are the Jones inspired to live differently because of the influence of their neighbors?

I burnd too many bridges in high school because of my religious rigidity.  The good thing is it kept me out of quite a bit of trouble.  The bad thing is, how many people are shunned from the Gospel because of my refusal to reach out a caring hand?  Did I even know what that meant when I was a teen? (Probably not).

So here we are, faced with an adventure, and I have a choice to make: do I want to just worry about me or do I want to worry about my neighbors and their well being?

[Edit: It appears I need to finalize my thoughts, so here goes!]

So is the economic/politcal/cultural problem the fault of Christians? No.  I think it’s the effect of a world that is breaking.  Sentimentally, it would be nice to think that if all of us tried that much harder everything would be peachy keen.  But then where would Christ fit into the picture?  But whether or not the economy ever changes or gets better or goes away all together, Christians have the responsibility to be full of Christ’s flavor for the lives around us.  People point enough fingers at us and I don’t want to pile on the proverberial bus.  But I’d like to do better.

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4 thoughts on “The Current State of Things

  1. I just wanted you to know that your words really hit home with my sister. She did not want to leave a comment herself but she totally agrees with your words and was glad that someone had the courage to write them! TFS!!!

  2. Thanks Sue. I’m reading a book called UnChristian, and it points out 6 areas where Christians are viewed negatively from those outside the Christian faith. It is really a good read and has got me thinking about this. Thanks for reading and keep passing it along!!

  3. “What if this is all the fault of the Christian community?” Powerful statement linking the financial crisis to Christianity. (Beep. Beep. Watch out! Joel’s throwing Christians under the bus!) I know how this relates with the context of the blog… I get it since we’re reading that book together for group. (BTW, you need to start coming for discussions). But that statement also threw me back and I recalled something from the historical books very similar – another perspective could place that statement in 1930s Germany with the Jews. I know you’re not going that way, but if I was an “outsider” well, Christians are often an easy target to blame and attack.

    It’s good to have solid insight on our (Christian) own faults/bad habits. It’s quite another to blame society and the economy on Christians themselves. Christ, God Himself, walked the earth, yet He did not make the Jewish economy perfect.

    Again, I know how this statement is supposed to relate to the “bigger” picture you have in your blog about Christians needing to be Christ-like – which I fully believe. We need to acknowledge God for Who He is – as A.W. Tozer says, “The heaviest obligation lying upon the Christian Church today is to purify and elevate her concept of God until it is once more worthy of Him – and of her.” And from that grand, holy, holy, holy concept of our Lord should we conduct our every action, attitude and thought.

  4. Point well taken. I posed the question, and then blathered on and on and didn’t go back to what I started. I’ll go back and add a conclusion that fits the question. You’re right, we can’t blame the problems on the Christian community, but I wonder where we would be if we all aimed to be a bit more like Christ.

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