“For many years Israel has been without the true God, without a teaching priest, and without instruction, but when they turned to the Lord God of Israel in their distress and sought Him, He was found by them. In those times there was no peace for those who went about their daily activities because the residents of the lands had many conflicts. Nation was crushed by nation and city by city, for God troubled them with every possible distress.”
― 2 Chronicles 15:3-6 (HCSB)
I’ve given myself twenty minutes to respond to the excellent article by Tony Evans, America’s Current Violence Can Be Traced to Christians’ Failures on Washington Post.
In his article, Dr Evans cites the abovementioned 2 Chronicles passage as a prophetic exclamation for our time. I think he’s right on so many levels. But what is correct is correspondingly perplexing. In our globalised, light-speed-paced social media world what chance do we have in uniting the church that seems as splintered from within as it’s ever been?
As a ‘Church’ we are bombarded from within on many issues in this tremulous day; gay marriage is one very visible illustration. The present gun debate is also dividing the church in America. As a ‘Church’ we’ve become known as a people with a lot to say but with the inability to do; this in a day when ever more we crave leadership — at a global level, because of the way our society now works — that can lead, and evoke, and censure — in order to bring unity, by reasonable force of veto, where necessary, from within.
We need leaders, and many of them, with a Kingdom vision who are genuinely able to harness armies of disciples, to fight a war of love, against the prevailing war of hate swallowing whole cultures by the minute.
I love what Evans has written, and cannot fault a single idea or word. It’s our fault. The ‘Church’ has dropped the ball. We’ve gotten into bed with the consumer culture. We’ve gone hardball in situations needing a reformation of wisdom; a prophetically-considered, Kingdom-considered voice. We’ve come to be innocuous and invisible in the landscape of life. The ‘Church’ no longer imprints the footprint it has in the past.
And yet, it’s not for the first time. The beauty of God’s Word is that it reminds us that there’s nothing new under the sun; we’ve been here before, several times. The Bible tells us what we need to do. The ‘how’ is the bigger issue.
The answer is simple. We do need to turn back to God, and in repenting, for the seeking of His face, we will need to do that with an innovation that suits our age, and do it on an unprecedented scale, for the globalised economy works against the work that must be done.
© 2016 Steve Wickham.