Being in Sweden has been great. I have been able to spend time with some family that I haven’t seen in four or so years. I’ve been through a few cities and towns and have noticed that everything is just how I remember it. Except for one thing. Yesterday we walked around Örebro (UR-uh-broo) which is a really beautiful town where my mom and my sister both attended school at some point in their lives. As we were walking I saw many more immigrants (specifically Muslims) than I did 4 years ago (I never saw any back then).
Is this bad?
Many within the Church have a habit of being fearful for the amount of Muslims coming into once “Christian lands”. Why? If the Church is to be a city on a hill then why not be shining to even foreigners who don’t believe that Jesus is God? Instead many of us (myself included at times) hide behind our Church buildings and native language, insecurities and individualism. So how do we go out into the world and serve the lost?
This is how many Christians in America respond (in other words, don’t do this):
- Pass legislation against people of other races/nationalities/languages (i.e not allow non-English speakers rights)
- Ignore Muslim (or Buddhist, or Mormon, or Jewish… etc) neighbors and stay in our own little country clubs (what we usually call “Churches”) where we take our weekly dose of worship
- Group them all into a category (i.e. “What’s wrong with all these ______? Don’t they drive in their country?)
- Begin arguments with them instead of having a reason for the hope that is within us
- Hoping in the politicians to “take care of them” instead of hoping in Christ as our salvation
- Or, freak out completely that America has lost it’s Christian heritage and will soon be dominated by the Muslims
A higher calling
Instead of being afraid, should’t we mourn the state of the Church? Early believers didn’t live in lands that were full of Christians, yet they took pleasure in spreading the Word of Jesus. Some would even heal the wounds of their enemies. As the Church in 2010, we must love Jesus, pray for each other and the lost and worship our God through the teaching of the Word and serving people (the Resurgence has a great post on this). That’s it. This will look different everywhere, but however we obey this, we must seek to glorify God. Are we?
How else are we hiding from the lost and running from God? What can we do to serve them? How can we fight for the truth without neglecting the wounds of the lost?