Crown of thorns

So many Christians look at what’s happening in this world today and see it as a sign. They call it a “sign of the time” and proof that Jesus is coming back soon.

Even though this sounds holy at first, it is often the easiest excuse for us to turn a blind eye to the suffering in this world.

It is easy to calm the conscience with the thought of the imminent rapture. If Jesus is coming back any minute, why bother? It’s only going to get worse so it’s best to hang tight with a bag of Doritos and focus on end time conspiracies.

 

The world suffers a lot. Not because of the violence of bad people. But because of the silence of the good people.
Napoléon Bonaparte

 

Departing Influence

This attitude has a lot of negative long-term consequences on this world. It undermines who we stand for and molds us into empty shells with empty words. We’re seen as puppets without legitimacy to influence society with words we ourselves don’t follow.

Where pastors had an important role in society not too many years ago, it looks very different today. Roughly one-quarter of the US population has little regard for the pastoral influence in their city or neighborhood. Another quarter holds a negative view of pastors in general (Barna).

These numbers tell us a lot about the acceptance of our faith in the culture. People have lost the perceived value in Jesus Christ because of our bad representation of him.

 

Called by my name

While we are waiting for the rapture, life is moving on. Since God’s people are silent, evil gets to set the agenda. The king of the air can rule and slaughter freely because we are huddling in our churches.

Passivity is still an action. By choosing to stay put, we are proclaiming that we either don’t care or we are too afraid to act.

Now, why would they want to join such a club? They know the church is the hands and feets of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:27). It’s not a far stretch to assume Jesus is like his people.

The church knows that Jesus is not scared and wimpy but mighty and powerful. We know his heart and his intention to crush the devil with his feet (Genesis 3:15). Our goal now is to close the perception gap the world has of him by starting to act according to our knowledge.

 

Pick your evil

Me and my wife served as missionaries a few years back. It was around that time we started digging into the world of human trafficking. As we read more and more about this horrific crimes, we were shocked to discover how vast the networks span.

Girls and boys as sold from an early age, even as babies, to the highest bidders. Mostly, they end up in a cycle of rape and sexual abuse. The only reason my daughters are not going through that right now is because they born to us and not to someone else.

By the time they grow up, these girls will be raped thousands of times. Even if they can escape the situation, it will be very difficult for them to live a somewhat normal life. The psychological damage and pain they experience are more than any human can handle. Naturally, they’ll try to numb the pain.

Brothers, this is happening on our watch. The church is sleeping while our daughters are being massacred by the world. Pimps are making millions of Dollars through the tears of the innocent. At the same time, we are offended because our local golf club closed down for the weekend.

 

Culture and Impact

The situation we are in now is the results of our passivity in the past. We are accountable to God to use the gifts and opportunities he provided us to bring the kingdom to the earth.

Be a father to a child that is not your own. Look into foster care or adoption. Those kids need desperately what you have to offer. Pass opportunities impact real lives. It’s the difference between an evangelist in Thailand and a prostitute in Amsterdam.

They might be the same person but the touch of God through your hands changed their destiny.

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4 Comments

  1. Thanks for your insights Michael, passivity is a cruel destroyer and it’s so easy to fall into the pattern and get carried away with the trivial pursuits of life. You’re right, to lay idly by while boys and girls are tortured behind closed doors, not just across the globe, but even in our own communities is criminal. It’s time to wake up, see the truth, take courage, and make a stand for righteousness.

  2. I completely agree!
    In my heart though, I am bothered by one more thing… prayer. Please understand, that Prayer is wonderful, it is right and can truly change lives, but if there is not someone willing to do the work, what changes?
    While I am wholeheartedly an advocate for prayer & praying for the needs of others, I feel that Christians will sometime use prayer as an excuse to not do anything. I will never stop praying to change the injustices of the world we live in, but I will also be a person to do something to back it up.
    It would be wonderful if every person in ministry had a person behind them standing in agreement, supporting them and praying, not just in words, but really doing it. The world could be a much different place. But, it takes action not passivity.

    • Wow, that’s good. I think telling another person that they are “kept in prayer” is a safe thing to say. It has taken on the meaning of “I’m thinking about you”. Actually praying is hard labor.

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