by: Johnny Golden
WHEN THE CHURCH IS SILENT…
The shepherds are mute and the lambs are frightened,. Shepherds, some too often, smitten with lust - that of the flesh, that of the eyes, and the pride of life.
Sacred writ reminds us “for the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world (Hedonism) 1John 2:16.
When the Church, the universal church, of all denominations who exalt Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior – the Black Church, the Protestant Church, the Roman Church, the Greek, the Apostolic, the Missionary and the Primitive Baptist, the Church of the Brethren (Friends), the Calvinists, Lutherans and Anglicans, the Church of the Four Square and the Circle of Life, the Jehovah Witness and the Sunday Service (Kanye West’s new church), the Evangelical Churches of America and the Church of Vespers; the church of the faith healers and the church of “it don’t take all that”, the Church of Christian Scientist and the church of those clinging on as Deniers of Climate Change -
- When the church – that BAPTIZED, CALLED OUT, BODY of Christ, The Ekklesia - remains silent in the silhouetted face of stark, rampant evil, sin flourishes - Period! And it vitiates against the moral fabric and mending fiber of that fissured, disinterested community in the most pernicious, and, quite sadly, insidious manner.
When racism, discrimination and bigotry rose up in the first century church, the office of deacon (servant) was established to combat it (Acts 6:1). One might insightfully ask, was this a prescient sign of early cleric abdication and reductionist theology, sociology, and anthropology as it pertained to the oneness of all of God’s creatures?
Reductionist theology, the concept of taking biblical doctrine and reducing, summarizing or ‘boiling the doctrine down’ to one finite statement that could very well be an oversimplification and ofttimes, even worse, of ignoring the entire counsel of the Word of God in favor of one passage. Reductionist theology is what allows bad theology to stay bad and what keeps believers blind.
Even so, I hasten to add that the scriptures put a great amount of tension about God’s undeniable sovereignty and man’s undeniable responsibility for sin and other actions. (No argument here from me about that. None!)
Tomorrow, perhaps, I will give my thoughts on Luther’s approach to the problem and then on another occasion a Calvinistic reflection. Undoubtedly, the Anabaptist – Mennonites, Amish, Brethren, etc. - deserve to be heard on the matter (not, necessarily from me) – historically, can any match their fervor against racial injustice and egalitarianism for all?
What would the Wesley brothers, John, and Charles, (founders of Methodism have to say?). We shall see – perhaps. In any case; indeed, in every case, Let us "Pray America!"
And then "DO something!" Each of us can START by SHOWING the love of God shed abroad for ALL peoples (Romans 5:5). Where are you in your walk with Christ in the tumult and turbulence of today’s turmoil?