It would seem as I observe the moral climate in our country today that the Church has lost the ability to speak with authority. On so many of the major moral issues, the loudest voices from the Church seem to be standing on the side of oppression and injustice.
There are two things I want to avoid. One is pretending this is a new position for the Church. The other is not acknowledging that there are those within the Church who are standing strong on the side of the oppressed and the side of justice.
In the past the Churches of the south defended racism and segregation. Before that they defended slavery. But it was other Churches who marched against segregation, and it was Quaker Churches who first stirred the fire to end slavery.
Today we find the parts of society wanting social reform are turning away from the Church and seeing the Church as the enemy of progress. Whether it is LGBT rights, racism, or immigrants, those in the Church seem to be consistently siding against the poor and oppressed.
Recent polling has shown a consistent correlation between white evangelicals and support for banning refugees, and supporting restrictions on rights for LGBT citizens. Additionally white evangelicals are more likely to assume in issues of police violence toward unarmed black men that the black men did something wrong.
So, as part of the Church, and as a follower of Christ, what can we do? How do we become part of the solution? How do we let Christ’s love, the Gospel, the Kingdom of God shine into these dark places?
To start, if you are part of a Church that is not part of the solution, find a Church that is. Then find opportunities in your community to get involved in efforts to make changes. Speak out for the oppressed, and be a part of the change. Be a part of the communities that are doing something to create change.
For ideas on getting involved with the LGBT community, visit http://www.hrc.org
To learn more about racial inequality and get involved, visit http://eji.org/racial-justice
A great resource for information on refugees and helping is https://exodusrefugee.org (they are local to my home state of Indiana!)
Also visit http://www.sojo.net for regular information on Christian involvement in social activity.