LUNACY And STIGMATIZED

WORDS FROM W.W. September 9, 2010
This week has seen a Florida pastor make national news with the threat of his church burning copies of the Quran on September 11. He backed off of that today, but the damage has been done…another blow has been received…another hit to the image…of what Christians are all about and what the church stands for.
I realize that the media is quick to look for a front page story that makes people shake their heads in disbelief. That’s the communications culture we live in. Herbie can post a YouTube video of a senator caught picking his nose. Text messaging is now used by thieves to successfully pull off a heist. Everything is quickly communicated these days, which also means “the story” really has be to a bizarre story.
“Lunacy” is what comes from Florida, but lest we think that is an isolated example, it also comes out of Kansas with the Westboro Baptist Church protesters. And lest we think that is just another isolated example from the middle point of the nation remember that a pro-lifer recently murdered a physician who performed abortions, and the pro-life advocate killed him in church. I’ve had a few sermons that should have been put to rest, but no one has ever died in the midst of a Sunday worship service.
In other words, our culture has seen too many media-blitzed examples of Christians and churches doing incredibly bizarre acts in the name of Christ.
And now there’s the other side!
In the Thursday, September 09, 2010 edition of the Colorado Springs Gazette there is a story about a group of a dozen churches on the south-side of Colorado Springs that plan to raise $125,000 to operate the Meadows Park Community Center in 2011. Because of budget cuts the city has been actively looking for partners to help them keep community centers open, which provide multiple services to the people who live around them. The dozen churches are all in close proximity to the community center. It’s a match made in heaven! It’s the people of God coming together in service and action, and, best of all, their funds!
But another community organization that has the same vision for the community center is opposing the churches help.
Here’s where it gets interesting…and disturbing!
The President of the Community Partnership Project, Eric Phillips, says that the churches being involved in the community center will keep people who need the services of the center the most away because of the “stigma” that churches carry. Phillips goes on to say, “There’s nothing wrong with churches. They are doing their best. But that stigma might have stuck with them.”
Lunacy and stigmatized. On one hand the actions of a few get planted on every Christian’s forehead; and on the other the offer to help, to make a positive difference, gets viewed with suspicion.
It’s easy for us to stay uninvolved, ineffective, uncaring, and apathetic…in the middle!
Which is exactly where the Deceiver wants us to contentedly stay!

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One Comment on “LUNACY And STIGMATIZED”

  1. Clara Morgan Says:

    Another great post, Bill! I appreciate the all four examples you cite. I think Eric Phillips is wrong, but his story makes a point about perception. I was glad last night on the way to choir practice to see our sign say “Islam is not of the Devil”, not the title of Sunday’s sermon but rather a statement of support for inter-faith concern that Christians and other faiths be seen as in agreement with the Gainsville man. He did serve to motivate some of the rest of us to wear our inter-faith “sign” on our foreheads which is a good thing!


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