Activism or Evangelism?

    My roommate has been reading “God’s Politics” by Jim Wallis, I can’t say I’ve read the book, but our discussions have been really interesting over the last few days as we’ve been talking about it. As Christians in America it seems we are always trying to defend our way of life, and our right to practice our beliefs. Christians tend to stand against things like abortion and homosexual marriage. We’ll go to rallies, we’ll write letters, and pastors will devote their sermons to these things.

    Now, don’t get me wrong right away. I understand the purpose that Politics plays in everyday life and why it is important. I understand and what the Bible says about those issues, and truthfully, I even agree with most of the church folks about them. But I disagree with the pedestal that we put those issues on.

    Here’s the deal, why do we spend so much time fighting and worrying about these things when there are much more important things we could be doing? Why activism instead of evangelism? Is it simply because the enemy is clearer and the objective is straightforward? Are we actually being selfish as we march? Looking out only for our comfort and our rights, wanting the world to act in the way that we want it to?

    We have to play an interesting balance as Americans. According to our Bill of Rights we have certain rights that we can claim for ourselves. We deserve them as Americans. Yet, in Philippians we find Paul talking about Christ’s humility in spite of his right to equality with God:

    “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
    Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
    Who, being in very nature God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
    but made himself nothing,
    taking the very nature of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.
    And being found in appearance as a man,
    he humbled himself
    and became obedient to death-
    even death on a cross!”
    Philippians 2:5-8

    It seems like we would be much more representative of God if we spent more time telling the people that we disagree with that God loves them and wants to invite them into a personal relationship with himself. Why are we trying to make everyone act like Christians before they even know Christ? I know it’s simplistic, and I know that life is more complicated than the easy answers. But I feel like as Christians we need to have our priorities straight and focus on what brings the most glory to our Father. Spending time at a rally, waving protest signs doesn’t have that same effect. Put aside activism, start evangelism.

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