What’s wrong with this picture. The police have an endless number of banquits, they sing, dance and roll on the floor to convince the President that they are listening and want to work for him. However, when there is trouble, they are occupied going from conference to conference, far to busy to do… anything.
When I was a Marine, there were always those who remained at base camp. They had knives under their arm pits, up the crack of their butts, two pistols and a new rifle, maybe a shotgun across their back. New permanent press clothes and Cocran Jump boots that you could shave in, if that became important. They attended every staff conference and knew what to say, when to say it and with the brown spots right at the end of their nose, who to say it to.
However, when things got bad, …
My friends in China do not make a lot of noise when they worship and each and every time I went there, they first asked me and every other visitor if their needs had been met. For me to leave one church to visit another and to arrive with torn clothes or hungry, lest it was a very long distance, put shame on the last fellowship I visited. They were quiet, studious and diligent because to bring themselves to the light of the .gov meant and still means, arrest and imprisonment. Don’t get me wrong, they don’t mind, but to go needlessly because of noise…
I remember reading about ministries that raised millions of dollars to broadcast TV into the areas of the poverty stricken. Living and working there, we often raised a flat hand and turned it in the wind, hoping to hear one of those broadcasts. Funny, the poor eat when they have food and TV’s as well as radios are not there.
I would sit with my friends and go over mail we received, sometimes months late, even up to half a year, and read about this televangelist that was broadcasting into our area. We searched high and low but televisions were not there. Who were they broadcasting to? Oh, the government spies who would glean info and then make busts.
Once, a saintly pastor from Georgia came by to visit. He took photos and videos of our house church. The people coming late at night, slipping in through the doors to get Bibles and training literature, wearing three layers of clothes, because to carry a bag or a backpack meant they were travelers. I told him that the videos and pictures needed to stay private. He agreed.
Two weeks later, a public security man came by, showed me the pictures from the man’s denominational news letter with faces and, for only 25.00, there was a DVD available. The man from the PSB, the bad guys, handed me the DVD. We watched it because he was a Christian and then asked me if I wanted to go to jail or to Hong Kong for a while. I opted for Hong Kong, leaving my wife and children in China to continue the work and, of course, found my visa canceled.
Go sit in a field. Stay there for three days. Hold your hand up, fingers extended and tell me what the Christian are saying. Perhaps Jesus wasn’t stupid. Imagine He wasn’t. When He told people that were healed to shut up, maybe, just maybe, he was saying that miltimedia presentations on TV might not be the best way. Perhaps He and the others were saying, “Don’t tell them, show them love, accptance and forgiveness.” I think we miss the fact that the largest, fastest growing churches are not lead by televangelists or Wrongs that think they are Wright. Maybe.
I am going to Jos. My government says no, it is dangerous. The same government that wanted me to go to hell and fight a war, now says I might get hurt. Peter said to Jesys, “No, dying on the cross is not necessary, send a television.” Maybe he said that, I wasn’t there. What would have happened if Jesus had attended a multimedia course at your local seminary. Why just think of all the good he could have done.
Ok, so you don’t wanna deny yourself. You don’t wanna sell all you have and give it to the poor. Listen to the mockers who point at Christians and laugh. Utah Phillips, Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn and a million more. The more we try to broadcast Jesus like potato chip ads, the further people run from; Jesus, no, I don’t think so.
If you are not going to go, for goodness sake find someone who lives like Christ and does not have to ask, What would Jesus do, but does it. They are around. I keep lists.
In a real world, the rich are not allowed to act like pompous asses that ignore the world. They are held accountable.
Go to the field, stay there for three days with a Bible and on the third day, read the New Testament. Things make more sense that way.