It’s a value here at ReKnew that we don’t become a place where you only hear from Greg Boyd. We deeply believe that a Kingdom revolution is brewing in the world, and we want to be a place where other voices in that revolution are heard.
Last week at the ReKnew conference we met Jonny Craig. Jonny is an Associate Pastor at Dover Church in Orange City, Iowa. He’s also a podcaster and blogger at 200churches.com, a resource to encourage and equip pastors of small churches. He sent us an article to consider for publication and we’re sharing it with you below.
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Here’s Jonny’s article:
I have a wise friend who once said that individual Christians couldn’t do everything, but they should care about everything. Some of us are gifted or called to be actively involved with stopping human trafficking. Others are gifted or called to be missionaries to another country. Still others might be called to simpler, small things that add up to make a big difference. But no matter what we feel led to actively do, I believe we are all called to care.
Simply stated, that’s how I feel about everything. I care. I care about everything. I care about orphans and clean water and racism and human trafficking and Syria and my youth group and abortion and child-welfare and gay marriage and my kids and your kids and climate change and the exploitation of women globally and the persecuted church in China and Iran and healthy eating and education and on and on and on.
I’m not actively engaged in all of these areas, but I’m aware, and I recognize the importance of the conversations that are happening surrounding all of these issues. Conversations that all have a spiritual dimension whether or not it’s obvious at first glance. At a base level, all of the “issues” in the world come back to people. Think through any topic listed above and there is a “people” dimension. God cares about people. God tells us to care about people. I care about people. I care about the issues that affect people.
But it’s not easy. Because we have 24 hour news cycles with talking heads and zany opinions. We have a political system that tries to project black and white solutions onto a grey world. We’re all products of our raising and we all have ingrained beliefs. We all tend to swerve toward self-righteousness and away from love. It’s not easy to care about everything because expressing that care inevitably makes some people happy, some people uneasy, and some people angry. And it’s not easy to care about everything because every issue has nuance. Every issue has different angles and sides and can be looked at from a million different points of view.
Who determines the “right” point of view?
God. Boom. Easy.
But… not easy.
Because I’m not God. Neither are you.
But we have the Bible so we know what God says!
And what does the Bible say about clean water in Africa? What does the Bible say about providing healthcare for every citizen in America? What does the Bible say about human trafficking or bombing Syria or education?
Not that easy.
I get it. Easy is easier. If I just believe what Keith Olbermann says or Glenn Beck says then it’s easier. I don’t have to wrestle with nuance. I don’t have to grapple with different angles. I’ll let my news source or politician of choice spoon-feed me and everything will just be better.
But easier isn’t better. We all know that.
I believe God is truth. I believe truth doesn’t fit in a box.
I’m going through “Jesus for President” with some college students now and the main point of the book can simply be stated this way: Jesus does not fit into the systems of the world.
Doesn’t fit in the governments.
Doesn’t fit in the structures.
Doesn’t fit in the economics.
He doesn’t fit. At all. And as Christians, we’re called to not fit. We’re called to care about everything but care about it in ways that explode the paradigm.
Seriously. Explode the paradigm. That’s pretty epic.
Jesus brought the Kingdom of God with him. And just like we’re not God, neither are our kingdom’s anything like God’s Kingdom.
In Genesis 32 we find the account of Jacob wrestling with God. And he gives God a pretty good fight! They fight until morning and Jacob refuses to let God go until he gets a blessing.
We’re afraid to wrestle with scripture. To wrestle with God. We want easy answers. We want an easy God. We’re afraid to hold onto God and beg for a blessing. To beg for his blessing on our Kingdom efforts. But that’s exactly what he wants. He doesn’t condemn Jacob for wrestling. He blesses him.
I want to wrestle through everything with God and with scripture. I want to explode my paradigms and find new Kingdom paradigms to live in. Will I always get it right? No. Should that prevent me from trying?
So I’m going to keep caring about everything. And that will lead to uncomfortable situations for me, and that’s fine. Because caring is too important to stop doing. I need a Kingdom paradigm, and I won’t find it through apathy.
Keep trying. Keep moving. Keep caring.