In a previous post, “Why People Have Left the Church,” I touched on the damage the emergent church has done with their shouting that the church isn’t doing anything and probably never has.
Of course, that isn’t true. Though every group has its bad apples, the fact is that the church at large is so often on the forefront of helping others.
A few years back I was sitting beside my daughter in church. The speaker that day had become a fan of the emergent writers (as evidenced by his frequent quoting from them). At some point in this day’s message, he stated, “…and whenever there’s trouble, Christians are usually the last to arrive on the scene.” Oh my. I thought my daughter was going to leap from her seat and publicly correct the speaker right then!
You see, she was just back from working in Thailand. Many Christians there were helping orphans, people caught up in sex-trafficking, people in poverty. During her time there, she was shown a Buddhist-run help facility that had been opened in response to complaints by the local people. They had been asking Buddhist authorities, “Why is it only the Christians ever do anything to help anybody?” There were Buddhist temples on every corner, but—for all the talk of Buddhist compassion—action was lacking. This lone help facility was an anomaly.
Several years ago a mission organization was having a committee meeting in Kentucky. In attendance were representatives with various international connections. Suddenly everyone’s phones began to ping. A devastating hurricane had just hit Haiti. The event hadn’t even made the news yet, but the church was already on the move.
What about the Christians in Japan who, after the big tsunami disaster of 2011, helped women start the Nozomi Project? They gather broken pottery from the devastation and make jewelry from it. Or what about the Japan missionary who received an award from the emperor for his prison ministry work? I could go on and on. Anyone who has visited other countries has seen all kinds of evidence that Christians are busy around the world—and always have been. Just as we know to be true from watching our local church friends at work here in the United States. Faith in action every day.
A 2018 Barna survey indicated that Christians are the most generous in fighting poverty. We should have known. And official reports like that can’t even calculate what Christians do in quiet, behind the scenes, and unreported. Let’s stick with the truth and be proud to be part of the Lord’s church and its impact around the world. See ya Sunday to celebrate?