I’m going to start this piece with a confession.
I don’t believe there has ever been a bigger hypocrite to darken the door of a church than this writer. I stand guilty before you and before God.
Having said that, I’m going to grumble a bit.
I think the church should take stronger stands on certain social issues. I was appointed to a committee some years ago to make recommendations to the synod of my denomination, the Christian Reformed Church of North America, regarding capital punishment. We urged the denomination to take a stand against the death penalty, for a number of reasons, but our recommendation was denied. Sadly, as of today, there’s still no firm opposition to the practice.
There are numerous and even more controversial matters that deserve thoughtful discussion in the church. Granted, different and varied interpretations of scripture will result in lengthy deliberations on some topics and final positions won’t come quickly. And they shouldn’t. But how hard is it to oppose blatant evil activity such as racism, injustice and wrongful convictions?
And getting to the issues that are important to me, and my team…rather than just praying for suffering inmates in our state prisons, I wish we’d raise hell about the heat in the cells, the terrible food, inadequate medical care, and the shameful manner in which we treat women and the mentally ill.
Saint Óscar Romero y Galdámez was a prelate of the Catholic Church in the early 1900s. He was outspoken on topics such as poverty, social injustice, assassinations, and torture. I love and support this quote:
“A church that does not provoke any crisis, preach a gospel that does not unsettle, proclaim a word of God that does not get under anyone's skin or a word of God that does not touch the real sin of the society in which it is being proclaimed: what kind of gospel is that?”
I think the Jesus who overturned money tables in the temple is just as angry over these matters.
Please don’t get me wrong. I love the church. I love my church!
But, if our church leaders are reluctant to speak out, how can we expect their parishioners to do so?
I join with St. Romaro.
What kind of gospel is that?