Wednesday, May 20, 2009

What's our response?

Here are some startling statistics that I heard off the River City podcast:

The United States is..

1st in gross domestic product
1st in the number of billionaires
1st in health expenditures
1st in military technology
1st in defense expenditures
1st in military weapon exports

The United States is also..

Highest in relative child poverty
Highest in birth rate among teens ages 15-19
Last in protecting children against gun violence
Highest in number of persons incarcerated

Not to mention, we also have the widest gap between the rich and the poor.

So what's our response to this? Anger? Numbness? Compassion? Apathy? Blame? Attempts to justify and distance ourselves from "those people" who perpetuate the problem?

In light of the injustices of our world and our cities, preaching a gospel that Jesus is just our personal savior is dangerously incomplete. Jesus not only is our personal savior but he is our societal savior. Just because certain things are in their current state, doesn't mean they have to be in the future. A gospel preached/taught/proclaimed with no talk about action and change for right now is no gospel at all.

I'm not exactly sure where I got this quote, or who is responsible for it but I like it. It's been written a few times in the journals that I keep.

"Jesus' teachings are suicidal to the rich, powerful, and the privileged." (more on this in a bit)

Again what's our response to that statement? What's my response to that statement? Angry? Annoyed? Dismissal?

If I'm honest all three of those for me. Wherever I turn, it seems that Jesus is continually revealing to me that the way to life and 'life to the full' is to die to myself daily (Mark 8:34-35). And it's true, the way of the kingdom is a downward pull.

Monday, May 4, 2009


"Christianity was never meant to be safe. We are just promised that when we walk into danger, God is with us... ...Perhaps the most dangerous place for a Christian is in safety and comfort, for we need to follow the way of the one who left all comfort, born a baby refugee, and wandered Galilee a homeless rabbi." -Shane Claiborne

I like Henri Nouwen's take on the same subject. How as Christians we should be moving away from the 'ordinary and proper places'. But not because we've come to recognize it as good social policy, but because we are following the example of our God (Philippians 2:1-11).