BOOM

“Your blog, Pastor Ivanildo, appears to be getting more traffic than usual! 30 hourly views!”

It’s not every day that your blog’s host sends you a message saying that your blog is getting lots of traffic. But it happened last week – 30 visitors per hour! I am not saying this to brag, just to rejoice that many people are reading these posts that are coming from deep within my heart. I feel so extremely passionate about this that contrary to my usual M.O., I write this with a palpable sense of calm and a steely resolve to say it the way it is, without being worried about passion. I hope this makes sense to you. It does to me.

So this is my third installment in my “dispassionate” thoughts about what is the trouble with “Church.” And this week, coincidentally, I want to talk about passion.

Evangelical Christians are passionate about a lot of things. They are passionate about gun rights. They are passionate about marriage between a man and a woman. They are passionate pro-lifers. They are passionate about voting Republican. They are passionately against “Obamacare,” stem cell research, illegal immigration, and sex education in schools. They want to bring the Ten Commandments back to the public arena and they will passionately defend the idea that the Founding Fathers never meant for prayer to be taken out of public schools.

Now it goes without saying that there is nothing inherently wrong with any of the things listed above. I myself feel passionate about the vast majority of these issues (don’t ask me to parse my statement, I will passionately refuse to). But could it be that we spend all of our energy being vociferously passionate about many issues that are not as important in God’s mind as helping a world that is outside of Christ find the hope that only Jesus Christ can give? What is better, win the “cultural war” or win a soul?

Recently I saw many Christians posting lots of angry comments about the sex change operation and total makeover of one Bruce Jenner turned Caitlyn. While I don’t agree with the decision by Bruce Jenner and abhor the media circus that has been formed around him, I have seen too many posts that are offensive and have nothing to do with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. God weeps for our callous hearts and little show of compassion, and His Gospel is injured by our lack of prayer for Bruce.

The same people who take to Facebook to lambast this or that person for their views contrary to the Bible may have not even thought that perhaps they could use their social media platforms to tell the world that God so loved the world that He sacrificed His only Son so we could be saved. There is something worth making people mad about.

Why is it, I ask, that when it comes to social issues, many Christians come across as being angry, incredibly insensitive and ready to scorch-earth those holding opposite views? Why do we feel that somehow we must be crusaders in the so-called “cultural war”?

Here is a humble suggestion to every follower of Christ living in the age of weird: For the next year, let’s agree that we will not engage in any adulterous behavior. We will not lie to our children (or anyone for that matter). We will not behave like madmen on the sidelines of a sports event that one of our children is involved in. Let’s not watch any kind of pornography. Let’s be the best tippers on earth. Let’s speak about Jesus only and not about Christians or churches. Let’s stop making excuses for being late for work. In fact, let’s eliminate all potential ways of cheating our employers. Let’s treat women with the utmost honor and respect. Let’s give the other drivers on the road preference, even when their behavior might not be the best.

In addition to that, let’s help someone who is adopting or fostering, if we can’t do that ourselves. Let’s find widows and elderly people whom we can comfort in their afflictions. Let’s find the loneliest person in our neighborhood and help shine the light of Christ into his/her heart.

Let’s do this quietly and without looking for personal rewards. If we do that, we will definitely make a huge difference in the lives of people who are still outside of Christ. And God will now weep for joy at something He probably hasn’t witnessed in a long while.

Pastor Ivanildo C. Trindade

Lead Pastor, Grace Church, Lititz, PA

Advertisements