What do you do with a skeptic who’s not so sure of the concept of God but believes the Way of Jesus should change the world? You make a deacon of him, of course! And when he dies, what do you say? How honest can you be?
If our culture is devoid of moral depth and lacking in spiritual integrity, how could such a culture recognize a prophet to begin with? “Prophets are not without honor, except in their country,” or so said Jesus not long before they killed him.
It is a confusing time, but one thing is crystal clear to me: if committing an adulterous affair with a porn star, if that kind of morality and that kind of character is “completely irrelevant” to a Church that has always said exactly the opposite, there is another thing that will be “completely irrelevant” to today’s culture — and that is, sadly, the Church.
Between these two disheartening poles, it’s not the muddled mush of some middle ground I’m seeking — which makes staking a claim to “free and faithful” even more difficult.
Since that disturbing Oval Office pronouncement there have been thousands of opinions written across the political spectrum, endless hours dedicated to punditocracy in the marketplace, countless words of pulpiteering offered by the Church. And I’ve been afraid to speak.
We seem to wake up every day to new proofs that Twain was righter than rain.
We’re harder and more calloused and just downright meaner, in music and sports and in national and international policies, in politics in general and our approach to one another in specific.
It’s humbling and amazing to recognize that I live in the most financially successful nation in the history of the world — and it’s tragic and defeating to try to help people see how poor we really are, in so many important ways.
Amy and I had a fight last week. Well, let’s call it a disagreement. Since we share all pastoral responsibilities at our church, we try to be careful to distinguish between professional and personal issues. I think this was both….