American Christians are comfortable. Too comfortable. Our churches have become social clubs. We have become complacent and cowardly. We’re brave when we’re surrounded by our friends and family, but as soon as we are counted on to live our faith to those who aren’t Christians, we crumble.
Our outreach to non-Christians consists of praying in groups that they will walk through the doors of our church. We have focused on getting people through the front of our churches while the gospel has been thrown out the back! We, the richest Christians in history, with the power to change everything, do nothing.
How will we be remembered? I wonder. Perhaps more than anything we will be remembered as Christians who could have saved lives, but preferred the pleasures of this world. Our pet pleasures have been deemed, in our minds, as more important, more valuable than our faith and the lives of the suffering.
It brings to mind the ending scene of Schindler’s List. Oskar Schindler is met by the Jews he saved, but comes to a horrible realization: “This car. Goeth would have bought this car. Why did I keep the car? Ten people right there. Ten people. Ten more people. [removing Nazi pin from lapel] This pin. Two people. This is gold. Two more people. He would have given me two for it, at least one. One more person. A person, Stern. For this. [sobbing] I could have gotten one more person… and I didn’t! And I… I didn’t!”
We have grown lethargic in our comfort. And as a result, our faith has atrophied. We are weak. Impotent. Frightened children. We watch as the world gets worse and do nothing. Instead we shout at the top of our lungs about social issues.
Rather than seeking comfort, let your heart be troubled. Let it suffer. Suffering, whatever the shape, is a calling for us. Out of pain and discomfort, our faith increases, grows stronger. Look at the first Christians and you will see faith that was tried and the better for it. When our primary suffering in regards to Christianity is deciding what we will wear to church, it is a truly sad state of affairs.
When our lives have ended, may we be found possessing lives rather than materials. May we never have that Schindler moment when we realize that there was more that we had left undone. May our clothes be threadbare if it means just one more life. At all costs, including our selves, may we love the world, using actions and not words. May we always put the lives of others before our own comfort.