It seems to me that every set of eyes I meet these days resembles a pair of burned out stars. The exhaustion, dread and lethargy are nothing short of frightening. I only speak to Americans face to face, the most well-heeled people this planet has ever known. So when we, as a populace, begin to convey that jaded look imagine what the truly destitute suffer.
In case you haven’t noticed people are actually starving out there. Not hungry, but famished and withering under a pitiless East African sun. The political and environmental reasons for this ravenous state of being are legion and beyond the scope of this article. I’m not trying to make us feel guilt. Besides, we cannot feel guilt because it is a moral and legal status before God Almighty. We can experience sorrow for our lack of concern, prayer and action.
In James 2, God warns us to match faith and deeds and the context is caring for the poor. The explicit teaching of the passage is simple. If we profess Christ then our lives must reflect that profession by helping the impoverished. Marxism is not the answer. A feckless prosperity gospel is not the answer. A blood and guts faith that mirrors the love of Christ is all that counts.
Maybe we’re fatigued because we’re too busy chasing the American dream which just might be inimical to genuine Christianity. I don’t think any clear thinking person would argue that the American church isn’t currently squandering its vast resources on trivial pursuits. We’re playing at church, much the same as children are wont to play house.
The American church is exceptional because God has lavished His grace upon us. If God has blessed us financially we should be thankful and enjoy the good things He’s bequeathed to us. But He expects us to comfort the helpless and desolate. The world isn’t asking for the United States government to effect regime change; it’s crying out for the American church to come to the rescue. It’s waiting to see Christ in us.