Saturday, July 25, 2009

Wasted Salt and Dim Lights

What does it take to rouse people into action? Where is the Church when injustice and corruption stalk the land? A friend of mine wrote a letter to her fellowship group challenging them to do more than talk.

Last Friday in our cell meeting we talked about being salt and light, and how to impact our communities. There were only a few of us but we had a lively discussion. Jesus used the metaphor salt to indicate that Christians should be the preservative factor to prevent moral decay in the world. We talked about helping others, praying, listening, finances, etc... which are all good and commendable.

However, I cannot help but wonder how we Christians should respond to the reality of the terrible injustices that have plagued our land for so many years. If you subscribe to God being sovereign, then there is no dispute He has placed you and I in Malaysia at this time and age. I refer to the recent Teoh Boon Hock's case.

I had asked: Why do Christians call themselves salt and light when they seem unperturbed by what's happening to their neighbours and country? Are we numbed by all this blatant abuse of power... (as just another Malaysia Boleh thing?) Or are there other things Christians should prioritise, ie, evangelism programmes & building funds, etc?

But would we have kept quiet if Teoh was our son or brother? What happened to the greatest commandments to love God and our neighbour? Are Christians to be known for what they don't do (drink, gamble, protest, etc) rather than being praised for what their good deeds are?

I've gotten these responses:

"Oh, please don't bring politics into the church. What if it gets closed down?"

"We must use wisdom."

"Jesus never involved himself in politics."

"All we can do is pray..."

On the other hand, personalities like William Wilberforce, Martin Luther King Jr are hailed from our pulpits as outstanding examples of Christian character. Pardon, if my memory serves me well, they were not people who backed down nor kept quiet in the face of gross injustice and tyranny. And they gave their lives for it - Wilberforce died poor in his cousin's house. King was assassinated.

I am not saying everyone should be an activist, go out with placards shouting slogans. I am suggesting that Christians should start thinking differently, if we say we serve a God of justice for the oppressed, downtrodden and poor.

"All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men & women to do nothing".

(Note: Letter reproduced with kind permission of the writer)

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