The other day I was scrolling through a social media site when I saw a posting from a friend with whom I grew up. My friend wasn’t particularly religious during my friend’s childhood. In the last 25 years or so, my friend has become increasingly religious.
What caught my eye was the nature of my friend’s post. The post expressed concern about the redistribution of wealth: taking money away from good, hard-working folks; and giving it to those less deserving. (Cue the ominous music and cut the lights).
Here’s what struck me about the post.
So many folks who go to great lengths to talk about their faith VERY publicly as Christians, spend almost all of their time and energy talking about two issues – and two issues alone: abortion and homosexuality. More specifically, they tend to talk publicly about a specific position on each of those two issues (i.e. a “good” Christian vehemently opposes a women’s right to choose and the extension of human rights protections for LGBTQI people). That’s about all they talk about.
It would seem, however, that our Christian faith calls us to engage a host of other issues. I wondered, for instance, if my friend who was so morally outraged by the notion of redistributing wealth from the “haves” to the “have nots” had read Acts 2:45 that, in describing one of the earliest Christian communities, said, “They sold property and possession to give to anyone who had need” (NIV). I could only imagine how my friend would react if my friend’s pastor preached THAT text!
All of this got me to thinking about the many, many, many other issues that those who are so quick to pronounce their faith publicly are utterly silent about: things like immigration policy, environmental policy, public health policy relating to gun-violence, policies regarding affordable housing and health care …. The list of issues is nearly endless.
This leads me to ask you – my readers – two questions.
Why do you think some are so incredibly selective about the issues to which they apply their faith? And more importantly, what could we do to encourage people of faith to talk about other issues and how their faith informs their positions on those matters?