I just finished re-reading A Christian Manifestoby Francis Schaeffer. It is a very interesting document on the Christian response to a world gone mad. After reading all about the history, the mistakes and the missed opportunities of the past, Dr. Schaeffer talked about why we should offer Christian alternatives to those practices we find so horrendous. In particular, he addressed the issue of abortion. Why, he asks do not Christians rise up and offer a loving, caring alternative to the abortion-on-demand clinics that are so readily available and supported by taxes. If we are so concerned about the death of the unborn, why not DO something instead of just complaining. Praise God, someone has finally heard the call to action.
But abortion is not the only issue that traditionally we have held back in confronting in a positive way while condemning the ungodly for their practices. We should do a lot more to support, encourage and assist prison inmates who have become genuine believers as they transition back into society. Perhaps there could be a factory or two that would provide work opportunities. Perhaps there should be landlords more willing to take a chance on rehabilitated felons. Perhaps there ought to be more receptive attitudes in our churches of those who have committed crimes in the past and have now paid their dues. Christians need to stop being the light that shows up the flaws in society and become the flame that ignites a fire of activity and service to those unfortunate people groups that need help guidance and spiritual direction.
It was this very concept that led to the abolishment of slavery. Later active Christians were able to pass the Prohibition Act, although temporary (the thirst for alcohol being too strong). It was dedicated Christians that for centuries were responsible for the orphanages, clinics and schools that started many communities and cultures on the way to becoming advanced, educationally and politically. We need to see more of that in our day.
Where does one start? Which cause does he champion? How do we prepare ourselves to face the tremendous task of offering viable and positive alternatives to the many things that are dragging our country down?
Start with a personal reflection. What things anger you the most? What causes do feel need the most attention? What has affected you personally? Start there. You need to start there because there is where your heart is and it takes your full investment of emotions, experience and knowledge to even begin the process. Next, you need to pray diligently, hard and long for the Lord’s direction, provision and blessing. There is no mountain high enough that He can’t help you over. There is no valley low enough that He will lose you from sight amid the tangle of bureaucracy, red tape or other issues. There is no enemy big enough that He cannot defeat to get you where you want to go. Trust Him. Listen to Him. Follow Him.
What are you waiting for? Christian soldiers are not called to fight the battle with swords and weapons of destruction, but rather with the banner of love. We should come to people and offer them the very kind of treatment we would want for ourselves. That includes respect, dignity and personal attention. It also means instead of telling them how bad they are, we should be sharing with them the level of worth that God says He sees in them. Lift them up instead of tearing them down. The glass of opportunity is not half empty, it is nearly full! Don’t wait for someone else to take the first drink. Look around you, find out what needs to be done, then step and do it! God will be pleased and people will be blessed. In the final end of things you will be rewarded for following the Lord when He called you into service.