Archive for September, 2009

Applications of Jonah’s Behavior

September 15, 2009

We started a study of Jonah on Sunday, and I brought out some applications of his behavior that many in the church (all of us at some time) exhibit and thus show that “we are Jonah.”
I see shades of the “Christian Right” in America in him. The notion of “America First” sounds hauntingly familiar. Many in the Christian Right have a fear and hatred of Islam that leaves Muslims in this country at arms’ length at best, or at worst urges us to kick them out. I’ve had Christians tell me that we shouldn’t plant ethnic churches because we might unwittingly help some illegal immigrants and “dilute” our American culture by catering to foreign languages. Kind of ironic when the ethnic churches are usually the ones teaching English. I went to a banquet once put on by a Conservative Christian group that openly campaigned for a politician who everyone, including the non Christians, knew had no integrity. But he had the correct letter after his name. Many on the Christian right also highlight abortion and homosexuality as if sins of self-righteousness and pride do not exist. Nationalism and pride of ideology can lead us to deny the gospel we profess to believe.
I also see shades of the “Christian Left” in Jonah. He overlooked Jeroboam’s sin and pointed out Assyria’s. There are just as many politicians on the Left who lack integrity and yet are defended as heroes as there are on the Right. Christians who should know better champion those who they would vilify if they were in the other party. Many on the Christian left fear to tell the truth about abortion and homosexuality, that they are sin. We must be able to identify our idolatries in order to unmask them. The Gospel calls us to critique our culture, and not just one philosophy or another. All philosophies, ideologies and parties are spiritually bankrupt and tainted by the Fall. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have one, but it does mean we cannot sell our soul to either.

Let me know what you think about some of these things, and let’s see how scripture addresses them.