ive been taking a social justice and ministry of christ class with charles lee for the last week. social justice and the ministry of christ is an emerging controversial conversation between nations, religions and people. there is a conversation that social justice was the purpose and practicality of christ’s ministry. there is a battling conversation that social justice and the gospel of christ are not one in the same. and my religion, my life has become that much more complex. the debate is that the global crises situations around the world are to be aided to be the word of the gospel or by acts of social justice. the justice people argue the gospel people. and both extremes are what brian mclaren would refer to as over-confident suicidal machines. church against church. christian against christian. there must be something wrong with this.
part of the requirements to gain credit for this class are to read some professor chosen books. the first of the books is brian mclarens “everything must change.” brian mclaren, a major controversial character in the justice and global crises discussion, has written about the many sectors of society that ultimately form, metaphorically, a machine. his argument is that when a machine starts to destroy its creators, it becomes a suicidal machine. in the global crisis talk, the world has become a suicidal machine. a suicidal system. our over-confidence has killed people for years now. the over-confidence of germany led them to believe they had the authority to divide all people, even if this mean killing millions of jews. and how has the church responded? how has christianity responded? and he describes christianity as “a failed religion.” and im not upset by this statement. maybe i should be. as a Christian, as a follower of the Christian religion, maybe it should upset me. after all, he’s talking about me and my religion. i just don’t think that brian is talking about my faith, my feelings and my theology. so Christianity might be a failed religion in many ways. but we already know this, we already know that religion will constantly fail if its done our way, the human way, which it has for quite some time now. why are our church attendances decreasing instead of being added to by the thousands like post-resurrection days? maybe because we have taken religion into our own hands.
eric bryant from mosaic came in today to speak to our class. what bryant said could have turned into another memory in the injustice stream of world vision and stop the traffik and poverty and clean water. but it didnt. bryant said something that hasnt left my injustice polluted mind. someone asked him a question if their leadership is exposed to any kind of accountability groups. he said no. obviously the immediate reaction by my christian peers was shock. utter shock. how can a church leadership have no accountability groups? bryant was calm. and this is what he said: at mosaic, we try to create an accountable environment. we want our leaders and us to feel vulnerable enough in the environment that if they are needed accountability, they talk to a friend. not their “group.” i dont have an accountability group. i lead an accountable life.
as an ending note to the class and today: i feel like peter. i feel embarrassed to be on both ends of the justice conversation. i feel embarrassed that my beliefs have offended some. and i feel embarrassed that my jesus’ name has been so tattered. and so torn. there are times where i have felt embarrassed being a christian. i feel like peter. i feel like i have denied christ in my ignorance to injustice and global crises.