Monday, November 30, 2009

Great opportunity amidst crisis

News reports about the killings of four police officers in Parkland Sunday morning are still unfolding.  The site is not too far away from where Katharine grew up.  As I write, police have not located the accused and believe he could have been fatally wounded.

He was recently released from the Pierce County, Tacoma. Why was the bail set so he could be released?  There are all kinds of unanswered questions. This tragedy could have happened in many places--a post office, school, or grocery store.

The church has another huge opportunity amidst a large community asking solid questions about what we all hold dear.  Rick Warren recognized these times as opportunities to be, "the church's greatest hour."  Ostrich living for God's people isn't what any of us want to be.   What should we do?

Olson suggests taking steps like this:
1. build bridges with love and servant leadership in our community.
2. present the Christian message to connect with true spiritual needs.
3. practice hospitality and build redemptive bridges to our neighbors.
4. be the mission of Jesus.

Author David Olson asks two very important questions in his book, "The American church in crisis":
1. How can a church witness survive amidst such iniquity?
2.How does the church speak and act out the gospel in the midst of this overwhelming evil?

We live in what has been called for years a post-modern and post-Christian society. His portrayal of our American culture fits so many we all know--secular yet spiritually "curious."  There is virtually no meaningful religious memory, as in the culture the author identifies from 1965 to 2000. When faithful Christianity is defined "primarily as protecting the truth, insulating our children, and surviving the onslaught of competing thoughts," the battle is lost. 

He suggests further the church at-large is competing for members and dollars by transferring participants hiding behind skirts of a few selected Scripture verses about purity, while burying our talents in the sand for fear of making a mistake with them.

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