Machine Gun Preacher, Diarrhea, & Abortion

Posted: October 30, 2012 by jperritt in Documentary, Drama, True Story
Tags: , , , , , , ,

The title may be a bit puzzling, but each of these topics have recently converged leaving me with a burdened conclusion. That conclusion? Christians are lazy. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean lazy in the sense that we’re sitting on the couch. Christians are busy – often busy with the wrong things, making us lazy with eternal matters. Let me take each of these issues in turn and explain.

Machine Gun Preacher is a film that was released last year and was reviewed at RT by Brian Godawa. I hadn’t been able to watch it until recently and was deeply moved/troubled with the realities of the world we live in. While it is an immensely disturbing film, I think most Christians should watch it so they are disturbed. The movie deals with the murdering of innocent children and their enslavement by the Lord’s Resistance Army.

After my wife and I watched the film, I said, “So, what do we do now? Are we just going to be upset that thousands of innocent children are dying and do nothing? What are we to do as Christians?” Which leads me to my second topic.

Diarrhea was an issue that deeply convicted me as I read Matt Chandler’s new book, The Explicit Gospel. In the book Chandler makes this comment:

Something that has always bothered me is how many kids in third-world countries die of diarrhea. You and I could go right now to a gas station and buy medicine that would save the lives of hundreds of thousands of children in lands just a plane ride from here. But do you know why we can’t get that medicine into their hands? We can’t because of the greed of men, lust for power, and political ambition. Now, these are systemic issues that the simple gospel comes in and unravels. Only the gospel can change the hearts of those holding back access to medication.

I read the above statement around the same time I saw Machine Gun Preacher. Shortly thereafter some thoughts on abortion surfaced at a breakfast with some men in my church.

Abortion is an issue I am against because I am a Christian. I believe life starts at conception, therefore, abortion murders that life. As I was discussing blind-spots in our Christian walk with these men, one of them pointed out the fact that abortion is our blind-spot. He went on to say we get real upset about babies being murdered and we say we’re against it, but what are we actually doing to stop it? Tim Challies had an excellent post not too long ago, getting Christians to ponder the same thought. In that article he makes this statement:

If we imagine Christians a century in the future, or perhaps two centuries, how will this kind of action, or inaction, appear to them? What will the verdict of history be? How will we be able to explain our complacency? They will read our words, all perfectly preserved in digital media, and they will know that we wrote and spoke about our hatred for abortion and our desire to see it abolished. But will they see actions to go along with all of those words? Maybe we are just waiting for it to die a natural death.

Christians, including myself, are very good at getting angry at injustice, but we don’t always take action to fight against it. Right now Sudanese children are being murdered, diarrhea is ending the life of others, and doctors are murdering infants. What do we do with these realities? I guess the better question is, what are you going to do about it?

  1. Cindy says:

    Okay, is this the word of encouragement and hope I was looking for today as I started my day? No, it was not. I kind of don’t like posts like this because…….they are a knife to my well ordered life that looks so sanctified on the outside but on the inside is selfish to the core. I don’t like these kind of posts but I need them…..need them to remind me of the world we live in and that being a Christian in this world means being uncomfortable and getting my hands dirty. May God change my selfish heart. Thanks, I think!!! 🙂

  2. Aaron Chen says:

    Very tough article. Are Christians lazy? I agree not in the in context of sitting on the couch, but I feel the question we should be asking is, “Why are Christians so passive? Why do Christians allow themselves to be bullied by the COEXIST culture, where other cultures can speak their minds and act as they please, but when a Christian speaks up we are known for our narrow-mindedness? Why are Christians so afraid of confrontation? Why are Christians not known for darkness-crushing battles? Why is Jesus a fair-skinned man with soft wavy well conditioned hair?

    I believe we fix the mindset of Christianity the injustices will begin to subside. We can speak in love with strength, and give mercy without bending over backwards to appease the masses.

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