Dirty Christians, Dirty Fights
I sometimes think that Christians are crippled with fear. Their crippling phobia is not fear of death, or fear of speaking the Word of God, but rather a fear of being polluted by non-Christians, or by other Christians whose doctrines differ from their own. Perhaps Isaiah is speaking less of fear of evil and opposition than he is the modern disabling fear some Christians have of anything outside their happy, safe little zones of comfort.
In some ways Mormon culture is like a beautiful gated community where everything inside is tidy and healthful and families are strong and people are happy. But Heavenly Father did not put us on the earth to live behind gates, within our comfortable zones where pollution is banned and salvation is sure. God’s plan for all his children is to be exposed to the light of His love through those who love and serve Him each day be being living examples of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The theme of Latter Day Saint teachings for 2014 is “Hastening the Work” of God in the latter-days as the world is prepared again to receive the King of Kings at His Second Coming. But the work inside the high walls of Mormon and other Christian communities is incomplete until those gates open and the Light of love pours out of them to begin repairing the wicked and wandering souls who most need its healing warmth.
Think about it. Like many Christians, I too could wrap myself in the walls of my little house, and the church. I could read the scriptures and pray and go to my meetings and give money to charity. I could live a sheltered life where I was doing very little wrong because I never exposed myself to error or conflict or the ugly and dangerous world outside my home. But in doing nothing wrong, could I possibly be doing anything of value?
I refuse to live such a life of fear. Because liberty is central to the Plan of Salvation, I will fight for it. Because the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the path to universal and eternal salvation, I will get my fists bloody defending it. They way I see it, you can’t become clean and worthy to inherit the Kingdom of God without first getting a little dirty fighting all the evils that oppose it.
Christians sometimes have an aversion to risk, because in sticking our necks out we might err or sin. But now is no time for complacency or coyness because it’s going to require getting into the messy arena where good and evil vie if we’re to retain our freedom to worship at all.
God calls his servants in the Church, but He also calls many–far more than heed His call–to fight in the arena of ideas, where politics can be brutal. Civil participation, political activism, running for political office, becoming citizen watchdogs of the government, are all uncomfortable. Few choose to sacrifice their time, friends, income, and other things to the dirty world of political debate. But without moral and faithful men and women leading our nation, the free soil upon which our churches stand and our tidy little gated Christian communities are built, will no longer be free and we will be worshiping at the altar of an unrighteous government, instead of the feet of the Redeemer.
All who call themselves Christians need to take up the Armor of God and get the heck out of their comfort zones and change the world. The fact that Christian-themed movies are gaining popularity as their competition becomes increasingly vile and insulting indicates a growing public hunger for something wholesome and full of hope. A single candle in a well lit room has little impact, but a vast darkness can be pierced by the smallest flame. Jesus Christ ministered to the filthy, the leprous, the possessed, and all manner of human ruin. Jesus had no fear of the outcast or depraved, He touched them and by faith they were healed. His love for the least of these was no less than for His beloved Apostles and disciples. All people are worth the price of salvation paid by our Savior. Christians have a duty to share Christ’s love with the squalid and the loveless.
Authentic faith in the God of Creation requires bold action. It is not an unseemly or immoral thing to stand fast against the evils of our time-the closing hours of the latter-days. It is God who spurs the principled impulse to withstand the lies that threaten our families, our freedom, and faith itself.
by Marjorie Haun 6/24/2014