FAITH IN ACTION
I can say I believe a certain chair will hold me up, but I’m not putting my faith into action until I sit on the chair. Standing around contemplating sitting on the chair, talking about sitting on the chair, being angry with people who have chosen other chairs—yeah, none of that substitutes for actually being decisive and sitting, which requires an action (and sometimes a lot of faith).
More than ever before, I’m hearing calls to action by people of all stripes. Some are people of faith; others don’t identify that way, but as I write, 200,000 women are preparing for Saturday’s March on Washington, African Americans are speaking up even at some risk, and evangelical leaders are deciding which side of the line to stand on (or sit on!) because they can’t not speak up. As Mark Galli said in Christianity Today (11/11/2016 edition), “The left imagines that Trump supporters, since they seemed to give a pass to his racist and misogynistic comments, must not care about Hispanics or women. The right assumes the left has simply gone soft on abortion and religious freedom, not to mention human sexuality. Each thinks the other is blind to how their candidate had little respect for the rule of law.”
Is there any common ground? Where are we supposed to sit if we care about the future of our country?
Let’s step aside for a minute and talk about Sojourners, which is a 45-year-old organization that pushes for engagement in public policy and focuses on racial and social justice, life and peace, and the environment. According to their website (www.sojo.net), the biblical metaphor “sojourners” identifies God’s people as pilgrims—fully present in the world but committed to a different order.
So maybe that common ground we’re seeking is…commitment to justice. And I believe that a different order, at least among evangelicals, is shaping up.
The politicians can polarize, but I know there are a lot of people like me that don’t fit neatly in either party. We care about justice—whether for the unborn or for immigrants/refugees. And you can’t be pro-life AND pro-refugee and fit neatly in one party or the other! So frustrating! But we, as individuals, can be committed to justice, and we can act.
God loves justice. In Matthew 23:23, Jesus chastised the scribes and Pharisees because they held to a form of religion but “neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness.” He’s calling us to justice, mercy, and faithfulness…and each of us has to figure out what that looks like, or put another way, which side of the line to be on regarding particular issues. The essential thing is to make the decision to act on behalf of those we can help (the vulnerable, those who have been wronged, innocent victims of war, etc.).
To sit on the chair.
Daily Seed: Put your faith into action today.
“But someone may well say, ‘You have faith, and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.’” (James 2:18)