The Right and the Left are growing farther apart with each passing week. Liberal politicians and conservatives are in a moral and political “take no prisoners” civil war. Each is strengthening its stance and asserting bold and often baseless accusations at the other side. This war has spilled over into all of life, not just politics, and includes the arts, education, business, journalism, science, technology, social services, military, and faith community.
The church is posturing itself farther and farther away from any positive influence in society, because it is deeply rooted in a moralistic crusade and quite comfortable shouting at the world from a distance. We should be on a transformative, redemptive mission of peace and love like Jesus the revolutionary, but instead we take stands, pass laws, protect interests and campaign against issues. We react to issues and take defensive postures and look as hateful as any faction in this growing divide. We are not a movement of love, instead we are a voting block.
The civil war is hot, and neither side is at all close to building bridges or bringing peace. We simply must take a different approach if we want to make a difference in this world—and now is the time! But in order to make a difference, we must first be different ourselves.
Today’s emerging generation is fed up with an unengaged, judgmental Christianity that is afraid to get its hands dirty with real change but is more than willing to tell everyone else how bad they are.
We have had unrealistic expectations of imposing morality without spirituality in a world that desires spirituality without morality. This is insane. We are surprised that the unredeemed act like they are unredeemed, but the real shock is how the redeemed act like they are not. My new book One Thing: A Revolution toChange the World with Love is a call to the church to respond in love toward the world and not to impose our own values on others but rather live them out.
Many Christ followers are tired of being the laughingstock of late-night television. They are also angered by the poor results the church is seeing as it seeks to be a transformative presence in society. This book will appeal to Christians who are tired of being characterized by the world as angry people known only for what they are against. It offers an alternative that is biblical, effective, subversive, and loving, all at the same time.
It is time for us to trade in our busy religion with so many rules and causes we are staunchly against for a “one thing” spirituality. That one thing is the love that is generated by being with Jesus, being focused upon Jesus, and letting Jesus leak out in our lives. We need to wear Jesus in more ways than just a WWJD bracelet.
This article is adapted from the introduction to One Thing: A Revolution to Change the World with Love