Tuesday, March 15, 2011

We Are the World

Don't worry.  This post has very little to do with the 1985 USA for Africa song.  No video, no quoting of lyrics.  I wouldn't do that to you- today.  Even though the sentiment of the song holds so true for followers of Jesus Christ- thw world is our family.  All people are God's people, even if some of them are completely unaware of that fact.  This post is a little bit about that, but it is mostly about a very important if somewhat controversial part of the Jesus Revolution.  Stay with me...

We have all been horrified by the images and stories coming out of Japan.  The massive earthquake, the tsunami, the nuclear reactor issues and the tragic loss of life have kept many of us glued to the story.  Christians everywhere are praying for the people of Japan.  And that is an awesome thing.  When the people of God gather in prayer, the power that is generated is palpable.  If you have the resources to give money to the groups that are seeking to provide aid, then please do so.  If all you can do is pray- then pray!  Pray without ceasing.

One of the real misconceptions of the 21st century Church is that Christianity is centered in USAmerica.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  The church is shrinking in our country.  It is booming in places with names we can't pronounce.  It is growing by leaps and bounds in countries where worshipping Jesus is illegal.  The Jesus Revolution lives; I am just not sure it lives here.  All of the efforts of many our politicians to legislate Christianity into a "national religion" are back-firing.  We are alienating people at a faster rate than we are attracting them.  The attitude of the Church quite often does not reflect the teachings of Jesus.  The world looks at us and they don't see a people of grace; they see a people who are not different.  People outside the Church question our purpose, they question our politics and worst of all, they question our willingness to love.  My neighbors talk about how it seems Christians seem more concerned with the way they vote than with the way they live.  And too often they are correct.  Historians note that when religion and patriotism (no matter the faith and no matter the country) become too tightly intertwined, bad things happen.  The kingdom of God knows no earthly boundaries.  The only flag the Church should ever fly is the flag of Jesus.

So how do the tragedy in Japan and the decline of Christianity in USAmerica tie together?  They can remind of a truth that Jesus tried to share with us 2000 years ago.  We are at our best when we quit thinking about ourselves and reach out to those in need.  When our focus is service and love, we show the true nature of the Christ.  No one cares if the people we are helping in Japan are Christian.  No one asks their feelings on Gay marriage.  No one wants to know their views on eschatology or universalism.  We simply help because their plight is more important than our petty concerns.  Their need for love outweighs everything else that usually clouds our minds and our actions.  And that, my friends, is what the Jesus Revolution is all about.  It's not about improving our theology.  It's not about legislating morality.  It's about loving the world the way Jesus taught us to love the world.  A love without restriction, hesitation or conditions.  And perhaps most importantly, it's about doing those things every single day, and offering that love to the people we find it most difficult to share it with.  That is what will change the world.  That is what will turn around the Church in our country.  Don't believe me?  Think about this- the Pharisees had all the proper actions and all the correct theology.  Jesus came to teach us how to love.  Which one changed the world?  I promised I wouldn't quote We Are the World, but I made no such promise about the Beatles "All you need is love...love is all you need!"   Keep praying for our world.

Because of Jesus,


  1. Anonymous3/15/2011

    AMEN - in addition it should wake us up how the people of Japan are acting and reacting to each other.......standing in line for hours on end, with patience and kindness for those around them, no looting. etc. no matter their religion they are the face of Jesus through this crisis.

  2. You are so right- watching them worry more about their neighbors than about themselves is like watching Jesus in action. I hope the Church is watching closely...


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