Do you really care?

Do you really care?


We live in a time where it’s super easy to feel informed, and simultaneously remain completely sedentary with such information. As a result, we’ve come to the false conclusion that by sharing our opinions, we care about a particular issue.

We have confused expressing our opinion, for being active.

For example, if you say you care about homeless veterans, but the closest you’ve come to doing anything about it is sharing a meme about how “we” don’t take care of homeless veterans, you in fact, do not care for homeless veterans – You just have an opinion, about how other people, the government, churches, etc. should be caring for homeless veterans.

You don’t actually care just by saying that you care. In reality, it makes little to no difference to you, unless you’re willing to get involved. Any issue only really matters to you to the extent that you’re willing to do something about it. And just saying, sharing, posting something, or criticizing others’ actions is not the same as caring or doing something about it.

James 2 tells us that if we see someone hungry, cold, or just otherwise in need and, “…say to them, ‘Go in peace! Be warmed and filled’ and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use it that?” [emphasis mine]

As my father taught me growing up, A “God bless you!” never fed anyone.

The same goes for sharing our faith as Christ-followers. It isn’t enough for us to post a verse, or a cute pic of something inspirational. We have to go out and tell it. We have to live it – embody the gospel – to the world around us.

The world doesn’t need another Facebook warrior, it needs people willing to actually intervene, spend their time, money, well-being, even their very lives if necessary, to do what is right.

So, care. Do something. Get involved. Go to the needy. Serve the broken. Pour your guts out to make this world a better place. No one cares what you and I think. But they can’t ignore how we serve.

Blessings,
Pastor John

The Role of the Church in times of Crisis

The Role of the Church in times of Crisis

vigil

This Friday it will have been one full week since a disturbed man murdered his own mother and then proceeded to slaughter dozens of people – mostly small children – at the school where his mother had taught, finally taking his own life. What happened before nightfall of that same day was a phenomenon to watch:

  • Some people started blaming guns.
  • Others argued for greater use of guns for protection against such people.
  • Political positions were asserted
  • Some prayers were given…

All of this is normal – we like to assign blame. And personally, I sense a gross oversight in one source to consider blaming: the man who did this. But I digress…

The thing that honestly frustrated me more than any of that was how many people, Christians mostly, were quick to start using this tragedy as a political soap box. Now, don’t misunderstand me. I am a strong advocate of our American right to keep and bear arms. Even aside from constitutional provision, I have a God-given mandate to protect my home and family. A right I will relinquish to no one.

But my point is, that there were dozens of families in Connecticut that went to bed that night with one less family member than they started the day with… And in even less of a window of time, many people hundreds or thousands of miles away who profess the name of Jesus, had used their family’s virtual Hell as a cliche political statement on Facebook. I think something’s wrong here…

Yes, Christ-followers should stand up for their rights. Yes, we should answer those who would seek to take those rights from us. But we also have a much higher calling and responsibility to consider. Such as:

  • The families who lost people from this
  • The people who are saying “Where is God?” in all of this
  • Other Christ-followers who are confused and needing direction
  • Others who have also experienced a terrible loss

One of my favorite passages of Scripture is Luke 4:18-19 where Jesus says, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captive, and recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.

It seems apparent to me, that Jesus’ bigger concern had to do with connecting people to their God-given potential in Him. He was about meeting needs, healing, delivery, recovery, liberty, and preaching the message of the Kingdom. If we claim to follow Him, then these are the thing we should be about also.

There would have been no lack of hot, politically-charged issues in Jesus’ day. And granted, He occasionally addressed them. But His default move when tragedy struck had less to do with political action and more to do with hands-on involvement in the situation.

If we truly want to be like Jesus, we must also humble ourselves and let that mindset lead our behavior – and our opinions. I’m not even saying that you and I should not express political opinions. Far from it, in fact! My point, concisely put, is that we change the world by the love of God working through us to others.

Blessings,

Pastor John

PS – And yes, I would address your congressman of choice regarding your desire to maintain your constitutional rights. If strict laws would keep things like this from happening, then the one against murder would have been enough.

“Charity: Water” turns Five!

“Charity: Water” turns Five!

I donated my birthday last year to this cause and was excited about the people who gave to fund clean drinking water around the world through charity: water. Jesus said that He is the living water, and that every act of kindness that we did to “the least of these” was as if we were doing it directly to Him. By providing clean drinking water through this faith-based charity organization, we are demonstrating the love of Christ to our world, and taking action in the single greatest need in our world outside of the Gospel itself. And certainly these two causes are not only compatible with each other,… they are complementary.

Watch this video below and do your part to help meet the global water crisis. We are the change the world is waiting for!

Blessings,

John

Stop “The Candy Shop”

I discovered this outrageous truth while at a conference in Atlanta. The statistic was that there are over 150,000 children in the sex trade industry… in the U.S. alone. That is among the 27 million individuals worldwide being sold into slavery for the purpose of sex trafficking. I was horrified at these statistics as you are no doubt feeling the same way as you read this. Below you’ll find a trailer to a movie coming out that creatively exposes this horrible truth. Additionally I’ve included links to organizations where you can learn more, and join the cause to do something about this tragedy. As the church, inaction is not optional for us… Luke 4:18, 19

www.stopthecandyshop.com – Coming movie website for “The Candy Shop”

www.streetgrace.org – A grassroots movement to end children’s sexual exploitation here in the U.S.

www.TheA21Campaign.org – The A21 Campaign: This group’s vision is to see the sex slave industry abolished in the 21st Century.

Click here to join The A21 Campaign on Facebook and stay updated.

 

John

P.S. – Don’t ignore this. Allow yourself to get uncomfortable about this…