Westboro Baptist church is planning a protest for President Obama’s visit to Joplin, Mo., to inflict a little hate and misery, in Jesus’ name. That the rapture didn’t happen this past Saturday was in the news as much as if it had happened. And people are still debating whether Rob Bell is saved.
This is the stuff that generates tweets, blogs, Facebook fodder, debates, ill-will, and the general opinion that people of faith are more interested in their own internal squabbles than doing much that’s meaningful in the world. It’s the stuff that’s good for readership because everybody loves a scandal, a controversy, a debate. The cumulative effect of this, though, has been to give our larger culture a caricatured view of Christ followers, painting us as self-absorbed, combative, fearful, arrogant—and painting all of us with these colors, as I shared here.
This not just a terrible pity; it’s a terrible lie. The truth of the matter is that God is making His good reign visible in some rather remarkable ways these days but, as is usually the case, the real redemptive work doesn’t get much press. It’s hidden, like a mustard seed. It’s there though: I think of my friend Walter, who’s focused on freeing women from sexual slavery in Ghana. Then there’s Curtis and his band, who make beautiful music and donate some of their profits to International Justice Mission. Let’s not forget Laura, whose movie has spawned the Rwanda Initiative. World Relief? One Day’s Wages? Aurora Commons? I could go on, and on, and on.
Instead, I’ll ask you to share. My only interest in writing The Colors of Hope is to encourage our culture away from the meaningless and polarizing debates, focusing instead on our clear calling to be people of hope in this world, intent on making God’s good reign visible through intentional acts of justice, mercy, and love. We can help create this culture by sharing the stories of groups that are doing this, and I’m happy to provide a way.
If you’ll go to this link, you’ll find a place to share stories, links, videos, of ministries that are imparting justice, mercy, and love in our world in Jesus name. Share your story, and your link, and then encourage your friends to vote. At the end of the summer, I’ll interview and highlight two ministries and give some funds to each one. The point isn’t the money. The point is sharing stories. The point is celebrating the truth that lots of people are getting on with real life in Christ—and that, I hope, will encourage more of us to join in!
So please—share a work that embodies God’s good reign on the contest website. Thanks!