“The lion has roared; who will not fear? The Lord GOD has spoken; who can but prophesy?” (Amos 3:8, Catholic Study Bible)
The moral fiber of America is unraveling at a staggering pace. Tragically, Christians are doing little to stem the plummeting decline. We speak out, but at the risk of appearing hypocritical, I must point out that the majority of our rhetoric targets fellow believers. It is more comfortable to debate other Christians than stand out as salt and light in a desperately dark culture. Social media fosters this enfighting because, after all, our posts are largely read by our self-imposed circle of influence—those who have “friended” us. Huddling in protest is nothing more than impotent isolation. Since we do not address the world, I assume we are expecting unbelievers to eavesdrop on our dissent. This was not the way of the Church in ages past. Her influence was indelibly imprinted on unbelieving pagan cultures. The result quite often was the lions or guillotine or prison. We have lost sight that the word “martyr” comes from the Greek martur, meaning simply “witness.” Few seek or embrace that spirit today. We prefer debate to demarcation, passive aggressive outbursts in social media to inescapable mercy. This is not the way of costly grace. We have counted the cost and come up wanting.
Do not misunderstand my challenge. I am not calling for shouting in the public square, but imploring myself to serve the least among us. You may reject my words, but you can never refute unimaginable mercy. “Mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:13, ESV). Mercy is compassion in action; it does not shrink from angry opposition. Mercy is selfless love on display. As such, it is not overly complex and actually simple to navigate. Extend human dignity to the homeless by making eye contact and refusing to turn away in disgust. Express appreciation to law enforcement for their sacrificial public service. Invest in relationships with individuals from cultural backgrounds other than your own. Employ non-violent protest of Planned Parenthood facilities and abortion clinics. Seek to enact legislation that protects the unborn and upholds biblical standards of human sexuality. Don’t just sit there with your face in your phone—enact justice. Seek to emulate Christ to the degree that it costs something, perhaps even your life. Be a martyr (witness). We are not playing the Game of Life. We are at war, but the weapons of our warfare are unsheathed in love, not hatred or fear.
“For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds” (2 Corinthians 10:3-4 | ESV).