I asked a fellow Christian once “what is the greatest thing we as Christians can do”? After thinking for about 5 seconds they responded “get prayer back into the schools”! Now, this particular person was one of the sweetest and most sincere I know. But the answer was very telling when it comes to American Christianity and more specifically it’s evangelical forms.
This isn’t a post meant to bash anyone or talk about prayer in school. (Which still exists mind you. My kids can pray there whenever they want) No, I intend to simply make us Christians think about what our priorities are now and what they should be. The things we do in the name of our faith will mark us for good or for bad. So it’s a worthy exercise.
If I had been asked the question, my answer would have been no better. I’d have fired off some half baked thought like this: “The greatest thing we can do is undo the institutional church.” It would be in line with my feelings on the church and something I would love to see happen. In the end though, it would be a very bad answer to the question.
The maddening part of it all is this: we have been given the answer to this question in the person of Jesus. Want to do great things? Want to change the world? Want truth to reign? Then actually follow the guy we claim to worship. He left so many instructions. Unfortunately, we are too content to do things like fight political and social battles and problems with the church itself.
Of all the quoting's of the Bible I read and hear, so few come from the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). We are given a virtual code for living in these verses. Some are very hard to follow. I think that is why we choose to ignore them. It’s easier to fight for the 10 Commandments to be allowed in public places than it is to love our enemies, be humble, turn the other cheek, stop judging, and choose the narrow gate.
It’s my estimation that if we pursued these things the way Jesus taught them, we’d have no time to worry about all the battles we’d rather fight and could actually do some good and change our own small part of the world. We have so little time here to make a difference that we need to get it right many more times than we get it wrong.
I am not making a judgment on anyone’s favorite cause or even asking them to give them up. What I am doing is this. I am asking that those of us who are Christians to stop worrying so much about things God isn’t so worried about and listen to our leader.