Frustration with the Non-Violent Movement

"Where is the audible nonviolent social witness to Christ on the dangerous intersections of gang activity and narcotics, widespread access to guns, police brutality, domestic violence, and the physical harm inflicted upon homosexual youth in some public schools? "

That quote is from Andrew Wilkes' post Beyond Anti-War: Nonviolence in Our Neighborhoods.

If Wilkes' calling is to the inner city, then he is doing his job by giving a voice to the plight there and should look to find opportunities to change that world.  All too often we confuse our calling with everyone else's calling, and we get frustrated when other people are not passionate about the things God has laid on our hearts to be passionate about. 

Aa a pastor in a small, rural, white farming community in the midwest, I wonder how much I should focus on the plight of the inner city because I am called to minister out here in the farmland.  I share Wilkes' frustration with those issues, but, in all honesty, I struggle enough figuring out how to impact this world I live in for Jesus.  John Howard Yoder, who Wilkes referenced in the article, came from a similar background if I'm not mistaken.  For everyone who follows the path of peace, the teachings of non-violence are filtered through our perspectives.  Through living a life of peace in our spheres of relationships, we can change your world!

American Christianity seems fascinated with the suburban faith at this time.  That leaves both Wilkes and me to find our own way through the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the teaching of Scripture as we attempt to minister in areas, the inner-city and rural America, that do not have a lot of books written about them.  All too often, those called to a specific calling like we are bring light to that subject while demonizing those who do not share that specific calling and are not passionate about the same exact things.  We need to understand that those not focused on the plight in our faces can still be focused on nonviolence and care for the plights that they are not directly dealing with.  My calling is not in the inner city, but I am trying to adapt Jesus' teachings to the community that I live in.  Others are doing likewise, adapting Jesus' teachings to the world they live in.  We need people in all facets of society trying to live out the radical life of Jesus.

Might sound like a cop out.  Maybe it is.  But it seems that I struggle with helping a dying, isolated, lonely farming community.  We are planning an inner city mission trip.  But that probably is not enough.  We'll make do with what we can and look for ways to show Jesus' love today.