Fellow Christ-Followers: Are We Getting The Message Yet?

An Open Letter to the Christian Community of America.

atwhatcost

Have you ever noticed…

When God wants to get your attention, He has a very interesting way of doing it?

Over the last year or so, we’ve seen the #MeToo movement sweep across America, revealing absolutely horrendous stories of sexual abuse and merciless harassment. Stories that were once swept under the carpet but now laid out for all to see. Powerful men in very prominent positions have been called on the carpet while women, who’ve been silent victims for years, are now being given the opportunity to recover a piece of their dignity after being told by society to be quiet and hold your tongue.

It’s interesting to me how some Christians, over the last year, go on social media, clucking their tongues, saying, “Yeah…it’s about time some of these godless, evil men get their due!” or “Good…God is finally saying He’s had enough of this nonsense in America and He’s pulling the rug out on these evil bullies!”

Bold words. But here’s the rub, my dear friends.

If indeed, God is cleaning up America, exposing the deep, dark sins of big-time power brokers, we, in the church of America, need to be very aware that God never separates the secular from the sacred. When it comes to exposing sin, God has a track record of cleaning house from top to bottom, from the inside out.

Please take note of these three examples: Three men in very prominent positions. Men who are respected in their field of work and are very vocal about their faith in Christ.

01

Bill Hybels, successful founding pastor of Willow Creek Church & Association

02

Urban Meyer, successful football coach at Florida and Ohio State

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Donald Trump, successful businessman and President of the United States

Please understand me here. My goal is not to point fingers at these three men in order to call out their sin. Their own words and actions have done that. If finger-pointing were my goal here, I’d also have to write, in equal fairness, several pages on my own sinfulness, pride, and arrogance.

My point is this.

It’s time for us, my fellow Christ-follower, to stop all the criticism of others, stop our mindless chatter, stop the finger pointing, and do a little soul-searching on our own.

What is it, for example, are we demanding from our Christianity in America? What is it that births an environment where men like Bill Hybels, Urban Meyer, and Donald Trump are crowned as kings? Could it be that “winning at all costs” has overtaken us?

As I see it, whether it’s the church we attend, the sports team we support, or the political party we subscribe to, we, American Christians, have demanded that our team be the biggest, the best, and most powerful. Oh yeah, we tip our hat to purity, integrity and having an inner compass, but let’s face it, friends, while these three men all need to face up to their personal #MeToo sins, it’s seems to me that it’s our persistent demand for the biggest and best-est that drives this machine called “success.”

Could it be time for a reality check?

Maybe we all stop a moment, take a deep breath, and look inwardly at our true motivations? How about if we ask some brave, honest questions of ourselves…

Why do we want to build “The Most Influential Church in America,” and at what cost?

Why do we want to be “#1 in College Football,” and at what cost?

Why do we want to “Make America Great Again,” and at what cost?

atwhatcost

I’m guessing with just a little bit of silence, God might expose some of our own prideful arrogance and invite us into a season of humility and humbleness, reminiscent of the much-quoted text found in 2ndChronicles 7: 14

…if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

My Prayer: Father God, all this hubbub surrounding the sin being exposed through the #MeToo movement can either stir me to more anger and criticism or it can move me to my knees. I repent, Jesus, of my desire to have and control the biggest and best-est…at all costs. This attitude is not found in the Scriptures, it’s not found in the life of Christ, and it shouldn’t be found in me. So, Holy Spirit, I say #MeToo. I’m guilty of pushing all the buttons to be the most powerful & successful in those things I do. Forgive me. For Your name’s sake. Amen.

Some Questions For Me To Ponder: So, where have I been pushing and driving for success at all costs? Where am I overlooking basic rules of honesty, integrity, respect and honor, thinking more about me, myself, and I rather than the needs of others? What steps can I take today to make my words and actions become more Christ-like?

So what is God saying to you as you digest all the news coming from the #MeToo movement?

 

5 thoughts on “Fellow Christ-Followers: Are We Getting The Message Yet?

  1. Really a timely reminder that revival starts in the examination of our own hearts. The ability to take the log out of our own eye so we can see to take the speck out of our brothers . ABBA is exposing sin but he always starts with our own heart condition, otherwise we are useless to Him in building His Kingdom.

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  2. I didn’t say it in the blog, but my sense is that God just might be pointing out right now three big “American Idols” that we Christians might be guilty of putting more hope in (and interest on) than on God Himself: 1) Religion 2) Sports 3) Politics. Hmm?

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  3. I find it interesting, in light of all the recent ugly developments at Willow Creek Church in Chicago, that their annual Global Leadership Summit opened this way yesterday…

    (From The Chicago Tribune 8/9/18) “A day after the mass resignation of Willow Creek Community Church’s elders, the leader of an affiliated nonprofit network of 11,000 plus churches issued an apology for how misconduct allegations against megachurch founder Bill Hybels were handled. ‘There’s no map for the journey we’ve been on,’ Willow Creek Association President Tom De Vries told a packed auditorium at the Thursday kickoff of the association’s annual Global Leadership Summit. ‘We’ve had missteps, mistakes, slip-ups, blunders — not condemning Bill’s actions to a greater degree and more publicly, not showing more support to the women who courageously came forward with their concerns, perpetuating a false narrative of false allegations and collusion. We’re sorry for the places where we could and should have been better.'”

    Hmm. When it comes to Christ-centered leadership, I wonder if De Vries might have better opened the GLS conference with something like this?

    “Friends, I’m not here today to make excuses. Nor am I here to gloss over anything that’s happened here at Willow Creek. In truth, we have sinned. Our leader has sinned. Our board has sinned. Our association has sinned. I have sinned. As the Scriptures say, we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. So rather than give you a short, glossy apology, I’m going to propose to you that this large assembly set aside our “leadership” agenda these next two days, and we come together, in humility, asking forgiveness for our sins. Rather than our normal agenda, as the leader of Willow Creek Association, I begin these meetings by calling for a time of quiet before our God, followed by our waiting on Him to show us how to proceed. Let me open our time of silence with this reading from Lamentations 3: 25-30 (MsgB)

    God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits,
    to the woman who diligently seeks.
    It’s a good thing to quietly hope,
    quietly hope for help from God.
    It’s a good thing when you’re young
    to stick it out through the hard times.
    When life is heavy and hard to take,
    go off by yourself. Enter the silence.
    Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions:
    Wait for hope to appear.
    Don’t run from trouble. Take it full-face.
    The “worst” is never the worst.

    Now, I’m going to lay prostrate on the floor and wait in silence before God. I hope you might join me.”

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