At the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit, a conversation was reviewed for us. It went something along these lines:
“I hear in America, that almost everyone owns a Bible, yet most people go weeks without reading it.
I hear in America, there is a church on almost every street corner, but people stay home to watch football.
I hear in America, people talk on their cellphones more than they talk to Jesus.
I hear in America, people have everything they need, but they only thank themselves for it.
I answered yes to all of these, embarrassed about such an observation of my people.
Here, we have a church of 40 people and only one Bible. So we take turns memorizing pages to recite when needed. Here, church is illegal. When it was finally legalized, we had one church for the whole village in someone’s house, and it was overflowing. In here we have hidden from the government for years, we have nothing, and we cannot go one single day without praying to God and living on His word! Because we need Him everyday! I pray for America everyday, much more than I do for my country, because in America, people don’t need God.”
I was struck by the uncanny understanding of what a jaded culture we live in. We are ignorant. Yet we also diagnose the world like its our job. We live separated from a world of poverty. Yet Christians only donate 2% of our income to impoverished churches and communities.
Nobody can stay so ignorant of the income gap of the world. Does God call us to change it? Does God hold us accountable for doing something about it?
What does doing something about it mean? Does it mean sending meals to the hungry? Sending checks to the poor? Sending clothes to the naked?
If I were to tell you that economic studies suggest these kinds of foreign aid injections perpetuate poverty, would you still do them? What if it required changing the hearts and minds of the culture and the government of the country to really change their circumstances? Could you do something about it?
I would suggest that it is God’s responsibility to change the world. He gives us opportunities to show Him to “the least of these” and we are the change we see in the world by being like Christ. We do not owe God something where we need to be radical and change the world or do things for Him. Our pursuit of Him is what we have forgotten as a society. And until we remember it, we will never care for people like Christ wishes us to. This is an open idea and an unfinished thought and I’d like to hear people’s thoughts on some of these questions.