I like action. A television show where there’s no arrows flying or bullets ricocheting off rocks during the first five minutes of the film is pretty much a waste.
So I want to tell you an action story about a hero who combats a giant octopus, underwater, with no oxygen tank no less. How can he do this you ask? Because I’m making up the story and I can make it up however I want to, okay?
Anyway, our hero swims straight after the nightmare with only a hunting knife clamped between his teeth. The monster reaches for him with a long tentacle and our muscleman slashes with his knife. A morsel of octopus meat sinks towards the bottom of the ocean but the mammoth creature is far from dead.
He releases his secret weapon and the water turns an inky black. Our hero feels a giant tentacle wraps around his neck in the darkness and the sucker thingys stick to him and begin to suck the life from him.
Once again he lashes out and the octopus frees him, but as the man fights, he finds it’s almost impossible to cut off all the tentacles. In fact, it seems they grow back as quickly as he slices them. He slashes and slashes and slashes … and finally he gets so tired that he quits and goes home to drink a cup of coffee. Someone else will have to rescue the heroine.
Sometimes I feel like the Church is fighting this giant octopus.
We slash at its’ tentacles—abortion/pornography/euthanasia/stem cell research/Christmas trees in front the city hall/Ten Commandments/ prayer in school/homosexual marriages.
And every time we cut off an arm, three more appear and the first grows back. You know what I think?
“Hey hero. Go for the head! Go for the head.”
We spend too much time fighting the ramifications of the problem without going to the source.
I want to cry when I think of millions of babies aborted world-wide, but have we been guilty of wanting the Supreme Court to do our job for us? Yes, the Church must have a prophetic voice in each society but do we have the right to have a prophetic voice if we don’t have an evangelistic voice?
If the Church started winning the lost we could save ten of thousands of unborn babies each year—because their mama would belong to the Lord and she wouldn’t abort the little one. Could we get prayer back in school? Yes! Maybe not officially but Christian students would be praying ceaselessly as they go about their work (there’s actually a lot of prayer that goes up before math tests, whether it’s permitted or not). The Supreme Court can’t stop prayer in school; it can only stop officially organized prayers.
Does it make me mad what has happened? Yes! But I have a strong feeling we must strike at the head and not at the tentacles. All these things are horrible and yes, the Church must be the prophetic voice of our society. We must speak God’s heart into this world.
But we must exercise our evangelistic voice if our prophetic voice is to have an impact. The world notices if we tell them everything they’re doing wrong but don’t try to rescue those who are perishing. The world notices if we hate the sin and seem to hate the sinner also.
It’s hard to say it, but we could win on all the social issues—get rid of abortion, have laws that respect life at all times, change the law so that marriage would only reflect God’s plan for the couple, etc. That would be wonderful.
If we don’t win people for the Lord, though, they’re still lost eternally, even if they’re not doing these things. The biggest social changes would impact our society as a result of hearts changed by the Lord Jesus Christ and the birth of new life in Him.
That’s our main job… preaching Jesus!
So let’s make friends. Win the lost. Serve them. Let them know how much God loves them. Yes, we’ll speak up for what’s right. But if we add our evangelistic-serving-others voice to our prophetic voice, we’ll be ten times more effective.
“We have decided that it is better to fail while reaching for the impossible that God has planned for us than to succeed in settling for less.” (a pastor)