News from across the Big Eastern Pond is no longer as startling and surprising as it may have been a few years ago. Still it’s alarming, since lately the USofA seems to take all her marching orders for social structure from Europe. In an article (see link below), from The HeraldScotland, a visiting youth choir from Texas is denounced for being a mouth-piece of a mega-church with intentions for “pushing their extremely fundamentalist agenda.”
While the intolerant and hateful characterization offered by one of the folks interviewed in this article is the alarming part, there is some truth found here. The church is different. It must be different, because much of the world loves many things God calls evil. Running from this truth in an attempt to be relevant only causes the church to become irrelevant regarding the love, mercy, and justuce of the Lord. Of course many, like the individual quoted in this article, believe the evangelical church by nature looks like Westboro Baptist Church, but they are wrong. They may not know they are wrong, still that is their perception. In reality, the real church looks nothing like Westboro. Instead, like the Savior, the real church will offer both truth and love. It will remain high on both relationship and conversation. It will recognize that much that passes for compassion these days is hateful and harmful. However, it will not say so through clenched fists and angry lips. Rather, it will imitate the Lord’s question and advice on behalf of a lady being tormented by haughty men. After pointing out the wayward and selfish intentions of the men, Jesus stood up and asked, “Lady, where are your accusers? Is there now none?’ She replied, ‘No one, Lord.’ And Jesus said, ‘Neither do I accuse you. Go and sin no more.'” Of course, the last five words will always cause an uproar these days. For those swept up in that uproar, I offer a challenge: do some old fashioned homework…find out what that word “sin” meant in the original language and context. To those in the pro-Jesus movement I also offer a challenge: remember the true wonder and beauty of the Lord’s ways travel with our hands and feet and lips as we engage others with both light and love…our worldview is neither left nor right, but biblical.