(Tim) The oped piece by Nicholas Kristoff in today's Times argues that liberals should cut evangelicals some slack on the compassion scale, recognizing they do a lot of what even secularists would recognize as good deeds. It takes him by surprise, but really it shouldn't. The Western world is living off the capital of godly men and women who, from the love of Jesus Christ, have loved their neighbor and done what is necessary to help him. AIDS patients and orphans, slaves, Jews under the Third Reich, disenfranchised black Americans, prisoners, the sick, small children working and dying as chimney sweeps, the hungry ad thirsty, the unborn...
But of course, not the unborn. Never ever the unborn.
This is the reason David and I bring these little ones up so often. Yes, there are many who pay lip service to the unborn, claiming to be opposed to abortion, personally, but to think it's a states rights issue. Or a religious issue: "While I'm personally opposed to abortion and think the fewer of them we have, the better; still, every child should be a wanted child and our Supreme Court has declared it's a woman's right to choose."
The unborn never quite make the cut as legitimate victims needing the protection of the civil magistrate. Lots of professed concern, but nothing approximating Righteous Job's snatching them from the jaws of the wicked...
Who cares about these little ones Jesus told us make up the Kingdom of Heaven? Where is our horror at contemplating the coming judgment of those who have offered their children to Molech, but also those who have pretended not to notice and therefore share their blame?
But hey, it's not cool to oppose abortion. No interviews in New York magazine for that one. No puff pieces in byFaith. No "Daniel" awards for standing outside abortuaries with Roman Catholics clickity-clacking through their rosaries. Offering life and hope and love to mothers intending to murder their daughters in the next hour or so isn't something anyone's going to commend, least of all the Times' Kristoff.
Kristoff lets slip the disdain of intellectuals for such compassion and mercy and Christian faith in his piece with a glancing reference to those "who seem obsessed with gays and fetuses."
No, not "seem" Mr. Kristoff. It's a fact. Christians are "obsessed with fetuses." We can't get them off our minds. We're like Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Confessing Church of the Third Reich who themselves were obsessed with the millions of Jews being led to the slaughter. William Wilberforce obsessed with slaves. Christians are obsessed with opposing the heartless man-pleasers who, for the sake of temporal peace, are willing to connive at the sexual perversion that leaves souls in bondage to Satan--and dying.
Kristoff cites a study showing that "among churchgoers ages 16 to 29, the descriptions most associated with Christianity were 'antihomosexual,' 'judgmental,' 'too involved in politics,' and 'hypocritical.'"
Well, there you have it: if Christians want better approval ratings; if they want to be seen as authentic and relevant; they'll give up their being "obsessed with gays and fetuses," they'll stop being "too involved in politics, and they'll leave off their "sanctimony."
Is there an echo in this room?
Mr. Kristoff has written some wonderful pieces, but this one isn't. Preaching repentance and seeking justice have always been the work of Christians following our Master who said both "I was hungry and you fed me" and "All authority has been given to Me in Heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations...."
Heavenly Father, please give us love for our neighbors. We are so fat and complacent and lazy and loveless. Make us like Righteous Job and the Apostles Peter and Paul and John. Conform us to the Image of Your Son, our Lord. Amen.