How about today and tomorrow we spend time figuring out how to help those who aren't as well off as Phil Robertson. For that matter, not even close to being as well off as us. The least of these.
It's Christmastime and there are people who are in great need around the world. We can help.
For some reason, we get more excited over an issue like this rather than helping the poor who are dying from bad drinking water and being malnourished. I think our priorities are wrong.
If we mobilized in a similar fashion to stop world hunger, to provide clean drinking water, good education or health care around the world, or to stand up for our brothers and sisters in Syria being slaughtered, I think the church would be a better witness for Jesus.
I wonder how we stand up for our rights and still look like Jesus. Can we do both?
I'm reminded of the humble act of Jesus at this time of year. He had all the reason in the world to not humble Himself, to stand up for His rights, yet He counted others as better than Himself and did it all for our sake.
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross (Philippians 2:3-8 ESV).This is the Christmas story. God emptied himself and took on the likeness of us. When we refuse to allow the true story of Christmas to be drowned out by all the noise and busyness of this season, we see that this example of God becoming flesh was done to teach us how to live.
It's tough to follow in His steps and consider others better than ourselves. That word, "better" in the original language has to do with something of surpassing or exceptional value. It's the same word Paul used in Philippians 3:8 when he says, "I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord." This is a radical teaching. Jesus had the attitude that we were better than He was. Jesus viewed us as better than Himself. Jesus. Me. Better. That's crazy. But that's what love is. And Paul calls us to have that same view toward others—an attitude that cherishes one another, extols the value of one another, and looks for the best in one another instead of the worst. When we do that--when we start to love others the way God loves them, it will be much easier to be humble and sacrifice for them.
Maybe we need to follow in His steps and do the same, humble ourselves and serve. It's always difficult though. How do we make the executives at A&E feel loved and that we view them as better than ourselves while also encouraging and supporting our brothers and sisters? I fear that they may feel just as attacked as we do. Have we fallen prey to joining in on a cycle of attack? If we cause them to lose their job over the stance that they took, are we any better? Are we actually viewing them like Jesus did, as being more significant than ourselves?
The boycott page on Facebook already has 1.3 million likes. That's amazing. That's more than World Vision has accumulated in years. We could stop world hunger if we had the will as a people. Western civilization eats more frozen desserts in a year than it would take to end world hunger. It is estimated that it would take about 4% of our military budget to stop world hunger. We just don't want it. It just breaks my heart.
I would love for us to mobilize like we are showing that we can for Duck Dynasty, except this time to stop world hunger. If we could channel this passion, fervor, and zeal into that, imagine what could happen.
I doubt we will. Our passion is more directed at this because we do feel threatened that our freedoms could be lost. Although, I don't believe this is a first amendment issue, it is an issue where we feel that we can't express beliefs that we share in fear that people will come after us. I'm reminded of Louie Giglio at Obama's inauguration ceremony, Orson Scott Card writing Superman, and then this. If you upset gay activists, they have proven that they will go after your job. I agree that it is scary.
But we currently have our freedoms yet we still have world hunger. Maybe we aren't using our freedom the way we should.
For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another (Galatians 5:13 ESV).We have been blessed to be a blessing.
I just wanted to link three of my favorite organizations doing the work I mention in this post. If you are looking for a place to direct a Christmas gift this year, I am sure they would appreciate your support.
Change Agent Network
Hope 2 Liberia
International Disaster Emergency Service