Here’s an article that started out with some promise and ended very, very badly.
Pastor Tony Evans, of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas, says in the Washington Post that prayer isn’t enough to solve the problems we have in our society today.
Our prayers go out to the families and friends affected most closely by these events, and to those fighting for their lives at this very moment in Dallas. But we must do more than pray.
Gone must be the days of only pointing fingers at others to fix what they may never fix. Our nation’s ills are not merely the result of corruption or racism, although these are evil. Our troubles can also be traced directly to ineffective Christians.
Yes! There you go! It’s true: Christians have used the Bible to justify so many bad policies that have hurt our country for so long. The same Bible that Christians say inspired emancipation was used to enslave black people. That Bible, today, is used to fight against women’s autonomy, LGBT rights, and science education. And yes, it’s used to justify arming yourself at all costs.
Preach it, Pastor Evans! Tell us what Christians have done wrong!
… I believe that the call of the Church is to come together as one on three levels.
One is to pray and call what the Bible calls a “solemn assembly,” which means a sacred gathering with prayer and fasting to invite God’s manifest presence to reemerge in the culture.
Secondly, the Church must move people from membership to discipleship. Just being members of the Church is not good enough anymore. We need visible, verbal followers of Jesus Christ who are public with their witness and trained how to do that. If the Church doesn’t train people to do that, then they have failed.
And third, churches need to come together in their communities and do good works, such as adopting schools across the nation, that are visible so that people see the benefit of the Church in their community.
So… his solutions are to pray more, turn more people into vocal Christians, and continue taking over a pluralistic society with the same kind of bullshit that helped get us into this mess.
It’s laughable when he writes “we must not let fear or hatred divide us” since faith-based fear and hate contributes to so much of the division.
None of that’s to say a lot of decent Christians don’t want to fix the racial tensions in this country — plenty of them do a lot of real, meaningful work to that end. But they’re not accomplishing anything by walking around and converting everyone in their path or sitting around praying.
The ironic thing is that racism is obviously part of our nation’s history — and many of Evans’ followers, I’m sure, would be quick to say we’re a “Christian nation” founded on biblical ideals. If that’s true, that includes the shameful parts that they’d immediately disavow.
If Evans wants to make a difference, he should call on Christians everywhere to follow the words of Jesus, put away their guns for good, and turn the other cheek.
(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Rachel for the link)