Deafening Silence

Why is it that in America the loudest Christians seem to be the ones communicating a god that is completely foreign to me?  Why are the loudest Christian leaders presenting God as something other than loving, merciful, and full of grace?

Where are the leaders who are standing up and saying, “This isn’t right!”?  “This hate and bigotry and ‘us-versus-them’ isn’t from God.”

Where are the Christian leaders who follow the commands that Jesus said were paramount?:

“’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Matthew 22:37-40

Where are the leaders who are speaking out and declaring that the Church should be a place of love and mercy and freedom for all people?

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The outer-most court of the Temple in Jerusalem was the Court of the Gentiles.  It was the place that people who were not of Jewish descent came to worship God.  It was in this court that vendors and money changers set up their market, far more concerned about their own interests than about the original purpose of that area.

And Jesus did not take it lying down.  He did not turn the other cheek.  He got angry.

God had set up His Temple, had set up the entire Jewish nation, that all people might be drawn to Him.  That all people might worship Him and experience the depth of life that can only be found in Him.

And the group of people that God had chosen to draw all people to Him had become the very obstacle that was preventing people from coming to Him.

So Jesus overturned the tables.

And Jesus cleared the Temple.  Cleared the way so that people could once again draw near to God.

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The Church is the new Temple, the new chosen people, to draw all nations to God.

These vocal Christian leaders, who are teaching anything but the love of God have become the vendors and moneychangers in the Temple courts.  They have become the very thing that is preventing people from coming to God.

Church leaders who recognize that this is wrong must speak up.

Many people are already speaking out.  But until leaders begin to speak up, it will be seen as individual opinion.  Our communities won’t recognize it as the Church speaking out against the hate until it’s our Church leaders doing the speaking.

They cannot avoid the topics.  They cannot choose silence to avoid confrontation.  To save face or save jobs.  Not when silence implies agreement.  Not when people’s lives are at stake.  When their eternities are at stake.

Now is not the time to turn the other cheek.  Now is the time to overturn tables.

Someone must speak.

The silence is deafening.

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