Actively bringing about much needed change in our communities and hope to the broken and disheartened.
So in my last post I decided to dabble in a little bit of philosophy – trying to delve into the idea of value, what it means, what it is, how it came to be, and whether or not humans have value inherently. At the end I sort of decided that I think my coin falls on the side of inherent value being given to humanity by an objective source, namely that of a Creator – and it is inherent in every single individual on earth, good or bad.
That having been said, I ended the last post asking why the guy who was all in a tizzy about being mad about the way things are was mad to begin with. What good does it do anyone to be mad about injustice? The guy’s quote that hit me was “I’m a human being, God damn it, my life has value.” And he goes off to say that everything is bad, and he’s not going to take it anymore. He’s mad about injustice, specifically the injustice taking place all around him, and he refuses to stand idly bywhile the world goes down the crapper.
All of that being said – and having made the argument that people are inherently valuable because God created them and he himself values them, then how is it I can look around and see Christians doing nothing about injustice? Or perhaps that’s unfair – maybe some Christians are doing stuff. I follow some people from a church out in Buffalo, NY who are big into digging water wells in Sierra Leone and they seem to be trying to do something about the fact that millions of people don’t have access to clean drinking water everyday. I think that’s respectable. But I’d also say that’s most definitely not the norm.
I find it incredible how people who say they love God and love others around them can be so self-centered and inwardly focused that they can sit idly by while the world is going up in flames around them. I’m no one to talk, because I can’t say I’m out there on the streets handing out PB&J to homeless guys all day every day, but I’m also not sitting here saying that the stuff I believe about who God is or what God wants would dictate me doing those things. Christians will say they want to see their communities changed, or that God is bringing in revival or some corny thing like that – they’ll go to conferences and get all hyped-up about the next big wave of the Spirit moving in their community, and then they’ll sit back and wait for their church to tell them how to spend their money, where to serve, how to serve, when to be there and what’s worthwhile. That is so pathetic. Empowerment comes from knowledge. If you know there are problems then there is nothing stopping you from being creative and finding solutions to those problems. Nothing except self-interest, laziness, or a care-less attitude. Those things will stop you. Or oblivion. Sometimes it feels safer to just be oblivious to all that’s going on around you so you don’t have to be held responsible to make a difference.
It’s hard to think about how apathetic Christians can be. They complain about the craziest things – like the “worship wars” – who the heck gives a rip about the style of music you have a sing-a-long to on a Sunday morning? People in the world are DYING from starvation, malnutrition, curable diseases, lack of clean water, and you can complain about drums or guitars or sound systems or preaching style. You don’t “get anything” out of your Sunday morning service so you complain, you switch churches, you plant your own church – but it’s all a cycle. You are proliferating the problem by creating more churches that do the same thing – nothing. You want to get something out of your Sunday morning service? Try being a difference maker. And who cares if your church doesn’t support you in your efforts? Do it yourself. Your motivation shouldn’t be “Oh man, if I could just get my church on board with this great idea we could make a big difference” – it should be: “Oh man, my church is full of people who talk the talk but don’t walk the walk so I’m gonna go ahead and do my own thing and see if anyone else is fed up with apathy who might be interested in joining me.”
Just in case you were wondering – the stat I found online is that one person dies every 2 seconds from starvation, waterborne diseases, or AIDS. That’s a lot of solvable deaths.
If you aren’t motivated enough, here is a link to a website of this group called Let them LOL – which is an organization that was started by someone I actually know personally. I interned at a church a number of years ago and the guy who I interned under had a wife who cared about stuff like people dying needlessly, ya know, because their lives are valuable just like ours. She was a part time nurse at some local pregnancy clinic or something, and spent the rest of her time at home with her 3 children. She decided to start raising awareness and money to build water wells in Sierra Leone and started this organization out of her living room with the support of her husband. Now they build wells like all the time and it’s just grown to ridiculous proportions.
From a mom of 3 holding a part time job comes an organization that saves thousands of lives every day. Ridiculous. If I’m going to come back to Christianity, that’s the kind of Christian I want to be and the kind of Christian I want to be around.