I have more than a handful of Christian bloggers at my Netvibes aggregator. If I can, I spend significant time perusing the blogs for current topics and issues as well as to fuel my thinking on longer term subjects of interest I mean to preach or write about.
They are mostly missing in action when it comes to the Marathon bombers and Muslim terrorists. That is, except for those who are from the Reformed camp. This more muscular kind of theology is more ready than most to wrestle issues to the ground, take no prisoners and offer no apologies. Try on Albert Mohler for size. The topic hasn’t been concocted yet that he is not ready to comment upon.
But most of the bloggers I visit are strangely AWOL. There are many minefields on this subject, and I am sure they don’t want to land on one. That’s my best interpretation. But it does occur to me that their usual version of spirituality might not be up to the heavy lifting one has to lean into on this one. Or that they just aren’t interested.
I have been getting the usual “chipper” (as John Piper calls it) emails from Christian leaders as if nothing much has happened in our country, as if there has been no death and destruction, as if there is no war being waged, as if there is no penetrating evil at the door. How can this be? Where is the grief? Where is the sympathy for families and communities? Where is the concern for righteousness? Where is the real dealing with cloud and rain, bullets and bombs, civilization and barbarity?
Perhaps in such instances our communities need more than a bit of cheering up, or the promise that Jesus will meet your financial needs or land you that perfect home. Perhaps we need more than bromides and balms. Maybe we need to believe courageous things and do strong deeds. Maybe we need to raise the bar from comforting those who already have so much to calling brothers and sisters to the city’s walls to bring protection to the innocent and the vulnerable. And maybe our leaders have an instinct that either their version of Christianity has nothing to add at a time like this or that Christians have a right not to listen to their usual formulas.
It was at such a time as this that Augustine wrote The City of God, a muscular work that fortified the church while the Roman Empire gasped its last breath. In our time, too, barbarians are at the gate. Have you been reading about Dr. Kermit Gosnell as of late and the butchery he ran? For a long time you had to search hard to find his name in the media though a few courageous Christians who were pointing others to the breach in the walls of city his acts were making. Have you been reading about the US cultural giveaway that is handing a society long cultivated and watered by the blood of patriots to the disinterested and even alien elements that have no intent to participate in our cultural project? Have you been reading about a culture drowning in drug abuse, child neglect, financial desperation, generational illiteracy and marriage disaster? The answer is not much, even if you are reading Christian blogs. There are no alarms sounding, no drums vibrating, no voices rising. Business as usual
Christians who do care about such things are being shamed by their own pastors and leaders into silence. They are told that we don’t want to be perceived as bigots, prejudiced, angry or anything else that will keep people from coming to our churches. Guess what!! People aren’t coming to our churches already. Why? It could be that the one thing we do not offer them is the beauty of holiness and righteousness and zeal that God’s healing purity roll across the globe. Maybe the culture needs to see a church disturbed by the viruses to which our culture has lost its immunity. Maybe people will want a righteous King who stands against the tide of evil and restores hope to cultural disintegration.
My guess is that many of our popular bloggers can’t get their minds and hearts around this one. They have not much to say, not much to offer. Because maybe our world is realizing that it needs more than hallmark card Christianity which is only good on birthdays and in funeral homes but cannot handle the darkness in between.