Neglecting The More Important Things

tony campolohave three things I’d like to say today. First, while you were sleeping last night, 30,000 kids died of starvation or diseases related to malnutrition. Second, most of you don’t give a shit. What’s worse is that you’re more upset with the fact that I said shit than the fact that 30,000 kids died last night.”  Tony Campolo

The above quote above,while it seems harsh to some of the more religious among us makes a valid point.  Dr. Campolo said that in a sermon quite a few years ago now, and it still has an impact.

I was reminded of it after I posted a short clip of a sermon presented by Dr.. Gregory Boyd concerning the churches rabid obsession over LGBT rights and marriage equality while hardly lifting a finger when it comes to poverty and assisting the poor. he mentioned that the Bible has a total of six passages addressing specific homosexual behaviors (and those verses are contentious because of the lack of clear intent) but over 3,000 verses addressing the poor (which are pretty straightforward) .  A friend of mine took issue with the “3,000 verses” while completely ignoring the point the of the sermon which was that the Church needs to be passionate and even angry about the treatment of the poor and less focused on something that takes up little space in the Bible.

So, whether or not there were 3,000 or 5oo verses the point is God has compassion on the poor and expects His church to be doing something about it.

This is but one example. I will list a few more but it is important to realize that this problem is not just unique to the modern-day American Church. Apparently it was running amok in the religion of Judaism in Jesus time. Read what Jesus said about it…

 “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore the more important aspects of the law–justice, mercy, and faith. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things.” Jesus

So the religious of His day were making sure they followed tithing all the way down to their spice cabinets. But they did not practice justice  and mercy. So here below are a things we magnify out of proportion rather than practicing justice, forgiveness, mercy, and grace.
Political/denominational/religious affiliation…
The nuclear family…
Anything to do with sex…
What is acceptable for a Christian to wear, eat, drink, or smoke.

You get my point so I will not belabor it. 

Jesus told His followers to forgive others…                                                  feeding the poor
Feed the poor…
heal the sick…
clothe the naked…
visit the prisoner…
and above all love without condition.

I think the church needs to do some serious soul-searching. And if God would judge this nation, it will not be because of marriage equality, or bullying laws. It will be because we neglected the more important things trampling justice and mercy under our feet in our rush to condemn others.

3 thoughts on “Neglecting The More Important Things

  1. This has been true for all of my 59 years – the church is a bureaucracy, a hierarchy, and the only purpose of bureaucracy and hierarchy quickly becomes to maintain itself. And the easiest way to do that is through fear. You keep the sheep in line by starving, threatening, and promising them good stuff if they behave – not by feeding them. I am a professing and practicing Christian, but I hate most churches.

  2. We get overwhelmed by the needs around us throughout our world. And the easiest thing to do is to distract ourselves with little arguments over doctrines and dogma. While we try to stay comfortable and safe, children starve to death.
    It is far more comfortable to believe God will judge those who sin differently than I do than realize the truth that God would judge the sin I commit in the same manner. But in truth–God’s mercy triumphs over judgment. And God chooses for his namesake not to destroy but to gather us home (Ezekiel 36). But fearing cheap grace, we must emphasize judgment–but only on those who sin different than us. Meanwhile, another generation leaves the church because they don’t experience the love and Grace of Christ which is what leads to repentance according to Romans.
    And so we have become our own greatest enemy.

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