7.22.2004

This is an article my friend Jeff submitted to his local church newsletter.  It has gotten the eldership of the church into a pretty big tizzy apparently and he is seeking general council onthe pros and cons of his action.  I'd love to hear from anyone on the Blog how they feel about the style, presentation, content, and purpose of the letter.  That may seem like a lot to ask, but any thoughts we share are welcomed and will be used by me for the purpose of contructively edifying a brother who is seeking to be intentional where he is for the Lord.  Thanks! The article Jeff wrote follows: An Editorial Call to Civic Involvement By Jeff Block   To the body of Christ at Woodstock Christian Church…   As Pastor Mike shared with us in his Independence Day message, there is no question that America is changing.  Our freedoms are threatened by activist judges, who create law instead of interpreting it, thereby circumventing the democratic system.  Countless millions of unborn children have been slaughtered in this country in the last 30 years – in fact, more than five times as many as the number of Jews killed in the holocaust.  Gambling and pornography are among the most quickly-growing, affluent and highly-destructive industries within our borders.  Divorce and blended families have become the rule, not the exception, leaving children with a broken view of marriage and commitment.  Even talking about God is becoming increasingly taboo in public discourse.  And at the heart of it all is the more-and-more-dominant belief that Truth no longer exists.   What can we do?  Simply put, the local church is the hope of the world.  We are the body of Christ.  We (not just WCC, but the Church universal) have not only the privilege of Truth and Freedom, but the awesome responsibility to defend them from those who would redefine them.  Note that ours isn’t just any truth or any freedom, but the real deal – given as gifts from God in Christ.  I capitalized them on purpose.  The Truth of Jesus Christ and the Freedom we have in Him changes our lives.  It also changed the way this country was designed by our Founding Fathers.  Today, they’re being redefined, and the Church has spent far too long looking the other way.  We’ve been too afraid or too busy or too apathetic or too easily convinced that we should mind our own business.  Many Christians even believe the world’s lies.  For whatever reason, the Church has allowed too much to be dictated to us.  It has to stop.   For over a year, the congress has been building toward the proposal of an amendment to the US constitution defining marriage as being exclusively between one man and one woman.  The mere fact that we have come to a place in this nation where the definition of marriage can be legitimately debated is astounding.  We have to speak out on this and other important issues like it.  It is not an overstatement to say that the very fabric of western civilization hangs in the balance of arguments like these.   Therefore, I strongly urge you to let news like this motivate you to action.  Pray for our elected leaders, that God would give them wisdom and grow their integrity.  Pray for revival in the Church, that we as a people of God would not be willing to just roll over and take it any longer.  And get involved!  Call your representatives, and tell them when you feel strongly about something.  Make them understand how you expect them to represent you.  Politicians generally assume that any call or letter they receive from you represents the views of 100 other people just like you.  What a sad commentary on our society that only 1% of the populous is expected to contact their leaders on important issues like the defense of marriage!   To help you, here’s how you can contact your elected officials…   Peter Fitzgerald (R) and Dick Durbin (D) represent us in the Senate.  Their Chicago offices can be reached at (312) 886-3506 and (312) 353-4952, respectively.  Or, visit www.senate.gov.  If you live in the Illinois 16th district, then Don Manzullo (R) represents you in the House.  Call him at his Crystal Lake office at (815) 356-9800.  Or, visit www.house.gov.  The US capital switchboard can be reached at (202) 224-3121.  They’ll give you the number for just about anybody in Washington you’d like to contact.   Also, visit http://www.family.org/citizenaction to find out how your representatives vote on important issues.  Whether you agree or disagree, call and tell them.  It’s their responsibility to represent you, and your responsibility to let them know how they should do so.   I believe that God holds us responsible for our role in society.  I think He will ask us how we invested for eternity the freedom, peace, privilege and great wealth we’ve been given in this nation.  Let us purpose as a church to be diligent and prayerful, as faithful stewards of God’s gifts to us.

3 Comments:

Blogger e said...

Although I'm not sure that a church newsletter was the best place to do this, I'm glad Jeff at least got people thinking about these issues. Sort of. He at least pointed out that there are these issues--something that probably everyone has some opinion on. But he didn't go into any detail about what makes a marriage amendment the right way to go about mobilizing the Church.

The whole argument is a non-sequitur: (1) Things are morally wrong in America (2) the Church is threatened by these moral wrongs (3) the Church is the answer to these problems (4) get involved by calling your local civic representative. #1, #2, #3 all make sense, though this doesn't get spelled out much. #4 might make sense, but does so from a non-Church sense. It doesn't follow, for instance, that if the Church is the answer ("...the local church is the hope of the world...") that the government is who we must contact to change things.

That's my two cents. Anyone else?

7/22/2004 2:31 PM  
Blogger Roja said...

What is the church in a tizzy about? The thoughts of your friends seem well-founded, and though not in true-Jerry Maquire fashion, I see not any reason why anyone would be surprised to find such comments being made. I agree with points 1-3 as E has also commented, however I do not see howcontacting congress is going to sort out issues that inherrently must be addressed from the ground up, rather than the top-down. No amount of capital investment is going to convince fathers and mothers to do their duty with their kids, and thus we should be energizing the body to go out into the community and forge relationships. My hope is that a generation of men shall be transformed through the spirit, and perhaps then we shall see them acting as sincere husbands and doting fathers. What a difference: I can only imagine.

7/23/2004 9:25 AM  
Blogger brad said...

Those are great points, guys. And, E, I like the non-sequitor summary, espeically when it's used as a "final word" of some sort.

My impression of Jeff's sentiments is that the government is just trying to represent what it thinks people need (want)and that because there is a really loud minority of people, who are being louder than the vast majority, politicians are then misrepresenting what is actually the need (want). I sort of think he's harshly asking, "Why isn't the church being heard on these issues? Have we lost our voice or are we just not talking?"

7/23/2004 11:02 AM  

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