Inside or Outside of the Church

“How can or should processing things like mass shootings work in the Church? How can or should followers of Jesus process these things? Lord, who do we need to be in this moment and in a society like ours?!?

Is it really as simple as saying, “Well, as long as sin is at work in the world there will be death?” Is that really a reason informed by the vision of God for the world as revealed in the Scriptures? Even the Church is left trying to react impulsively out of our grief and anger to what we see, because our processing of these issues usually happens outside of the Church.

I hear people say that these matters are political so we shouldn’t talk about them “in Church.” True, they are political. So is morality—at least the moral majority thought so, led by Jerry Falwell and joined by James Dobson, Pat Robertson and others as they worked to advance “conservative social values” on political levels, centering issues like prayer in schools, anti-abortion agendas, and the so-called sanctity of marriage advocating against gay marriage as Christian political issues. Greed is political. Justice is political. Violence is political. And yet all of these things are also theological. Violence is theological. Morality, greed, justice—all theological.

What I have come to believe is that when Christians say that matters like these are political and shouldn’t be talked about “in Church” they are most likely side-stepping the issue, because if Jesus gets involved in the discussion it might cost us something.

So then let me ask, what discussion should a Christian have that doesn’t include the Lordship of the Ascended Christ?

If the Church cannot learn how to process these societal sicknesses that evidence so clearly the reign of sin and death in the world we will be stuck to react in the way society reacts. We will inadvertently betray our own witness.”

This is a question I posed to the WCC family today (and many times before). I’m thankful to be a part of a church family willing to thoughtfully consider our faith in the real world.

About Fred

I am a follower of Jesus, husband and father. I am a son, brother, friend, multi-vocational pastor with Williamsburg Christian Church, TEDx alum, ethnographer, community organizer, published author, founder and president of 3e Restoration Inc, and adjunct professor at Rochester University and Regent University. I received my B.S. in Ministry/Bible at Amridge University and my Masters of Religious Education in Missional Leadership (MREML) from Rochester University. I am currently working toward my Doctorate of Ministry in Contextual Theology at Northern Seminary.
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