August 20, 2006

Where is God?

We live in a violent world. We fear flying in planes because they might be hijacked. We fear stree and gang violence. We fear all kinds of things.

Luckily we don't have to fear this:swissinfo - Gunfights as Congo heads for presidential run-off

This morning, during a Bible study at the church, I was asked, "Where is God's provision for those people in Africa?" I remember the lament of Psalm 40 (which is the influence for U2's song "40"), "How long, oh Lord!" I think this is a continual reminder that we must be the Church and we are God's hands to bring the bring justice.

A few months ago, I went to a conference where Brian McLaren was speaking. He said something I found very helpful. "Mercy is standing at the top of the Niagara Falls pulling people out of the water before they plunge to their death. Justice is going up river to stop whoever is pushing people into the water."

The Church should be involved in acts of mercy and acts of justice!


  1. Unfortunately, we have become so used to pew sitting we aren't willing to sacrifice our lives to save someone else. If you saw a man beating up on his wife in the street, would you go down and stop it our would you hide and wait for the cops to show up? Hard one huh? We want justice so badly, but we aren't willing to be the ones to get beat up to save another. That makes me wonder at times.

    Too long we have been taught at Christians to just protest quietly in our churches and with votes only. Why can't we take back our country with as much force as those who have polluted it?

  2. Here is the thing. We are to seek justice, but we are to do it in a different way than the world that brought everything about. We are to be a servant, turn the other cheek, pray for those who persecute us, and love our neighbor.

    The problem with "taking back" is that it was never really "ours" to begin with. That is a lie we tell ourselves about our past. This wasn't a Christian country--this was a country seeking religious freedom. All we have to do is read what our "Fathers" did to the Native Americans and to the African Americans to know this wasn't a Christian country. Good "Christian" folk watched and took part in beatings, rape, hangings, burning down homes, etc.

    There was a time when this country had the appearance of being more moral, but never Christian. I think quiet protest is completely different than sitting in a pew. Sitting in a pew is apathetic.

    Active is prayer. Active is voting. Active is protesting. Active is living in such a way that those around us are changed. Active is speaking out. Active is doing something.

  3. Touche.

    Granted we ARE to turn the other cheek. The thing is we only have one other cheek. Sometimes you do have to stand up for yourself.

    I totally agree, this country never was Christian, rather religious. Unfortunately society doesn't really know the difference.

  4. I never meant that we don't defend ourselves or our families or our faith. I just think there is a better way to do it most of the time than violence. And when we do defend ourselves with force, we are very careful in how we do it. I know that goes against pacifism, but I am not a pacifist. I just believe that sometimes non-violent protest and speaking up to draw attention to a problem should be our first route.

    But even when speaking up, we must be careful to do it properly.