Last night, Christiane Amanpour concluded her 6 hour special on “God’s Warriors” with a 2 hour look at “God’s Christian Warriors.” She tackled issues like culture wars, Christian Zionism, and the marriage of politics and faith. I have been so excited to see this documentary, however “excited” was the last word I could use to describe my attitude after the 2 hour show.
After the show was over, my general attitude was one of depression.
I am depressed because I feel hopeless that true Christianity will win out over radical extremism in our country. I am depressed that so many Christians in our country are so concerned with the morality of a secular society that they would go to war with it. I am depressed to see a man brainwashing tens of thousands of teens into having a public dispute on the streets of San Francisco with homosexuals. I am depressed to see a man standing in the pulpit and screaming at the top of his lungs “To not vote is a sin!” I am depressed to see people labeling and persecuting a preacher for teaching his congregation to take care of planet earth – because this is “dodging the real issues.” I am depressed to see Christians say that government has “removed God from the public square.” (Who can “remove” the Almighty God from anywhere?) I am depressed to see so many Christians proclaim that being Republican is a prerequisite to being accepted by God. I am depressed to see such a huge divide between secular society (the ones we’re supposed to love) and Christians (the ones secular society now hates). I am, in general, depressed.
What’s more – I am ashamed today of the name I wear – Christian (that’s right – ashamed). Because people think that is what I stand for – and it’s not. So, at least for today I go by “disciple” and not Christian (just a quick reference – the word “Christian” is only found 3 times in the New Testament – “Disciple” is found 269 times – see Dallas Willard)
Here is my prayer today – a prayer of depression at what I see around me from my brothers and sisters who proclaim to wear the name “Christian”.
How long will you be, O Lord? How long will you be? Where did your love go? Where is compassion and love? Why do we bear the name of your Son, but deny him by our actions. Why do we pledge allegience to your Kingdom, but serve America more? Why do we hate women who abort babies? Why do we hate politicians who don’t understand our vantage point on the sanctity of life? Why do we hate? Why are we incapable of loving homosexuals? Why can’t we see clearly to remove the speck of sawdust from our brother’s eye? Is it for the plank in our own? Why do we elevate one sin over another and say it is worse? Why do we concern ourselves with two issues and ignore the thousands of others? Why do we strip away our brother’s freedoms for the sake of morality? Why do fight for prayer in schools, instead of just praying in school? Why do we battle for the freedom to pray publicly, when you called us to do it privately? Why do so many Christians wave the pro-war banner? Why do they insist that killing is the way? Why did “Christians” bomb abortion clinics in Georgia in the name of Jesus Christ? Why do we look at the “ends” and say “whatever means necessary” to accomplish your will? Why do so many Christians seek politcal power to enforce your law or accomplich your will? Why don’t they seek first, the power of your Spirit? Why do they suppose you need political power? Why do we even think that WE can accomplish YOUR will? Why did I hear a pastor say on national TV last night that we should bomb Iran pre-emptively? Why doesn’t that pastor love his enemies? Does your law only apply when it’s convenient? Where did your love go? Why? How? How long must we wait on your return – on your justice? How long must we wait for you to silence those who proclaim you with their lips, but hate you with their lives? How long must we wait in patience? How long must we wait in silence? How long must we wait in love of enemy? How long must we wait in opression? How long must we see this “Christian Nation” make a mockery of your law of love? How long will you be, O Lord? How long will you be?
If you question my integrity in pouring my heart out this way, then please, read Psalm 13 today. It is my inspiration, motivation, and friend today (and likely in days to come).