I have been on the ONE campaign mailing list for a very long time now, and today they sent out an article that has made me really ponder, to take a deep look at what I am doing, here read it for yourself:
“I believe the fight against AIDS and global poverty is the fight of our generation. I recently asked my father where he was during the American Civil Rights movement, and if he felt a pull to be involved. As I listened to his answer, I thought, “What will my children hold me accountable for?” In the years to come, when my children ask me what I did to fight AIDS in Africa and how I tried to keep millions from needlessly dying of poverty, I want to have an answer. A real answer. This is the fight of my generation, and I will not pretend I don’t understand what devastation will occur if I do not act. The ONE Campaign gives me a voice in this most important battle, and I intend to use it.”
So where have I been in the war on poverty? Where am I in the current revolution of the church? I’m not saying the back row is a bad place to be, for some people, but I want to be at the forefront of my generation, I want to be there fighting the good fight, I want to have my band of merry men charging in behind me, I want to make a difference.
People let’s be honest and look at the facts, the American church does not have the same passions that the Jesus of the Bible had. We don’t act like the church of Acts did. And we definitely don’t have the zeal or dedication of the Old Testament. We build big mega millions crystal cathedrals to showcase our interviews with Hollywood celebrities behind the pulpit, but you better show up dressed to the hilt because the bouncers will put your butt on the street before they put you on in the sanctuary where one of the TV cameras may pick you up. The community soup kitchens are constantly understaffed and very under funded, the homeless shelters are closing down left and right from lack of support. But in the same breath there are soccer fields being leveled out behind the churches that your kids can pay $100 bucks to join their team on. The church is proud to promote those that protest abortion clinics, but dude, you can now buy and abortion in a bottle over the counter at the pharmacy because the so called Christians of America refuse to vote according to their beliefs. Well those denominations that still have any beliefs, it’s becoming more and more popular to strip the Christian part out of the social machine called the American church.
It is this kind of thought that made me jump out of my skin with joy when the national director of the Vineyard, Bert Waggoner, stood up at our regional conference and rebuked the entire denomination for being passive about the passions of our society, for being a predominantly white denomination, for not being at the forefront of the environmentalist causes, for not spearheading the empowerment of women within the roles of the church, for not doing enough for the orphans and widows, well to sum it up, for being a typical American church.
I’m not a tree hugger, but I can tell you a lot about our environment and what we need to do, and the 14 mpg SUV you are driving yourself around in doesn’t quite fit the mold. The 40% waste per household per year in FOOD ALONE makes me sick, and don’t get me started on the $100 haircuts.
Fighting the “good fight” isn’t enough anymore, if it was we would be seeing a change. No it’s time for the people who “get it” to stand up and force their community to take notice. It’s time to braid your whip and go into the temple and remind them of who Jesus was on that particular visit. It’s time to stop being introverted with the battle and to take it to the forefront and to lead the charge with your comrades in arms. It’s time to move. It’s time to get real and to start living your faith like it is something real.
We are so afraid of offending others by making them uncomfortable with our lifestyles, and we are afraid of the uncomfort we will have ourselves by leading the battle. But the time for sitting around and waiting for someone to show up to lead the battle is over. We aren’t going to have a big name to follow, that day and age has passed, this battle is going to be fought by you and me, the people in the trenches who are tired of generals that have forgotten how to fight. It’s going to be led by communities of brothers that link arms to take the challenges one day at a time. It’s going to be overcome by those of us that feel the urgency stopping our waiting, stopping our lack of action, stopping our cauterization of our hearts.
Open your eyes and look around. You are not alone. The passion that is in you, the unsettled feeling that you know there is something deeper than what you are living now, it’s all over the place! OPEN YOUR MOUTH AND SPEAK!! I promise, they are there and you will draw them in. You will draw them in for the purpose of moving forwards and impacting society.
It’s not about starting a “movement” or having a name. It’s about the desire for racial reconciliation in the church, the most segregated area of America today. It’s about the passion and brokenness for the orphan and the widow. It’s for the love and desire to protect the environment God gave us, and that he created in majesty and splendor and we have tried so hard to destroy. It’s about raising up women to their God given place, at the side of man, not under his feet. I’m not blind, the church as a whole is made up of women worker bees, but the leadership of the church establishment is still a boys only club. It’s about loving the sinner as much if not more than the saint, and being real and relevant to the society we are in.
It’s about losing religion and finding Jesus then following Him no matter the cost to your “place”.
It’s about being radical, believing you personally have the power to change the world, then doing it. I had that belief once, I don’t know where I lost it, but this adoption has reopened that casket and there is new life in that old corpse.
I want to challenge you to look at where you are and to listen to the heart God gave you, the passions He put in that heart and then look at yourself again. Do they line up? Which direction do you need to head to get there?
It’s not where you thought is it? But it sets the hairs on your neck on end, makes your heart beat faster with the anticipation of getting to the end result and makes your imagination run wild with the future doesn’t it?
The battle isn’t the same for everyone. Some are going to join up with me in the quest for racial reconciliation in the church. Some will join me with the quest to promote transracial adoptions. Others are going to have to take on the AIDS epidemic, woman’s empowerment, the environment, church worship, financial stewardship, globalization and the global economy. The battle is at your front door, and your heart is already screaming out for your head to listen to. You already don’t like me because you have been fighting this call to action in your own head for a long time now. But it’s harder to fight when you see it in writing isn’t it?
So do it. No excuses. No more waiting for someone else to write a book on how to do it. No more waiting for someone else to pave the way so you can stay a follower. I, Avery, am telling you to go out there and to lead this battle. I am telling you that you can do it. It’s not a safe journey, but it’s going to be the best one you have ever been on.
Now, I believe you may have a conversation you need to have with your family.