Excerpts from "finding our way home"
I REACH OUT TO YOU in the twilight of a long life within Evangelical America – some seventy-five years, the past twenty-six in pastoral ministry. My heart is broken over the deconstruction of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Too proud to accept the role of humble servant, we have opted to glorify the American Dream of prosperity and success. We celebrate dying for America in our military while missing the biblical call to give up our own lives in order truly to live.
“I have met the enemy, and he is us!”
Ignoring OPS (Other People’s Sins) and Facing Up to Our Own!
The famous sentence, “We have met the enemy, and he is us,” first appeared on an Earth Day poster in 1970. Cartoonist Walt Kelly later popularized it in a discourse between Porky Pine and Pogo. It is popularly employed today to describe the human condition of blaming others for our problems until being broken by our own complicity. Today it has all too rarely been used to challenge habitually pointing fingers outward instead of inward, regarding such issues as facing our collective roles in climate change and political corruption.
I am urging fellow lay-Christians and pastors to look within. Assess the relevancy of your faith to those with no other options than what they can see, hear, and touch, and maybe shoot up or drink, in this national story rapidly unraveling before our eyes.
If you are a long-time Evangelical Christian of any denomination or expression, going along for the sake of getting along, you have met the enemy of the gospel. This enemy within is the comfort zone of conformity with the world, granting permission for a lukewarm gospel of white, American exceptionalism devoid of the grace of a Sovereign God. As a pastor, I have expressed it this way: “It’s time for Evangelicals to drop focusing on OPS—other people’s sins—and face our own!”
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