Tuesday, October 05, 2010
(If the video won't play, you can watch it here.)
Yesterday I saw this really intriguing video. Five young Christians get together to talk about what Christianity means to them.
Being that we're in an election season right now, the interviewer spends a bit of time speaking with them about politics and the Religious Right. At about the 3:00 mark he asks them what are some of the biggest issues in American life that they have on their mind. What struck me was the comment at about 5:40 when one of the panelists says that there aren't a "top three or four" issues so much any more. Certainly each person may have a "top issues" but the range is much wider than the typical issues of the Religious Right of the past.
I don't think that's to say that up until now no one in the Church has cared about poverty or health care or nuclear proliferation, but certainly that has not been the primary message of the "front people" for some time. If the message has been more broad, it has not been the message that is getting out. One needs only to spend a little time on any non-Christian message board or blog to make that discovery.
So how do we change that? I think the panelists really nail it when they talk about being proactive rather than reactive. When I look at Christian groups/organizations/people that I admire, they are people who see a need and do something positive. It's what I saw happen with the 30 bloggers who chose to give time on their blog to raise money for clean water. It wasn't about stopping some behavior, it was about changing lives. I think so much of what I've seen in the religious political realm has been negative. It's make X thing illegal. Little or nothing to address what causes X or if outlawing X will actually stop the behavior.
I think this negative view has been fading in recent years. I'm seeing a lot more people taking the view of the panelists in the above video. Which isn't to say that things like gay marriage or abortion aren't still hot button issues in the Church, but instead people are taking a more positive approach. Rather than worrying about the legality of gay marriage, people are more concerned with creating stronger marriages in their own Church. Rather than fighting to outlaw abortion, people are increasing energy into helping fight poverty and helping with adoption law.
I think as we see this kind of positive change happening, we'll see the Church become more and more relevant to those in the world.
What are your thoughts about the video? Do you agree with them? Disagree?