Zach J Hoag is a US church planter and missional minister. He has a blog on Patheos1 which I read with interest but today his #FFFF post took my attention. You can find the entire post here but there are a few salient lines I’ve grabbed to share because it speaks volumes about where the Church is right now;
“Take figures like Nelson Mandela, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., Jesus Christ, Ghandi even: Mandela was imprisoned for decades, Malcolm X murdered, MLK shot in the head, Ghandi almost starved to death, Jesus Christ was crucified. To acknowledge injustice is to upset others, to acknowledge injustice and then as a result enact justice is arguably masochistic.
All these men had to do was blend in. Stay quiet, keep there mouths shut, and the pain, the suffering, the antagonists… they would have all gone away. These men might have lived a little longer, had a couple more decades with their families, wives, sons, daughters… who needed them. Instead of choosing comfort, they chose justice.”
“If I’ve learned one thing in my short life here, it’s that you can stand for justice to the point where you solve world hunger, and there will still be someone out there who wants you dead or silenced. The fact is, justice will not be had without blood. Not our enemies blood, but our own. To seek justice is to seek out and bear the weight of the cross which we will inevitably be nailed to.”
And finally; “… we ought not forget: the “enemy” of Christ was not the prostitute but the religious elite.”
For a middle class, middle road, middle income church-goer these words must appear quite confrontational – in more ways than one. Shedding our own blood? Bearing the weight of a cross for others? A cross we will inevitably be nailed to… ourselves?????????
I will not claim authoritative knowledge of Scripture, but what I can say is that the Christ event unequivocally demonstrates that crosses are borne for others, sacrifice is made for others and healing love is given freely – without judgement or prejudice or prerequisite. It is then, and only then, that Jesus will say He knows you2.
You cannot carry both cross and ego on your back at the same time.
1. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/zhoag/. Please visit Zach’s blog for the entire article and other great writings!
2. Matthew 7:23