The topic of April’s monthly synchroblog is “Social Activism and Christian Mission”. This topic is very similar to the topic of the “Missional Synchroblog” that I took part in on Monday in a post called “Living the Love of God“.
In 1977, Supertramp released the album (no, it wasn’t a CD) Even in the Quietest Moments. The first track of this album was caled Give a Little Bit, and it started with these words:
Give a little bit
Give a little bit of your love to me
Give a little bit
Ill give a little bit of my love to you
There’s so much that we need to share
So send a smile and show you care
At times, I think this could be the theme song for the majority of Christians. We are willing to give to others, as long as we only have to give a little bit. We are willing to do for others, as long as we only have to do a little bit.
We like to think that our giving attitude comes from God, but I think our current attitude of helping those who are in need comes more from society than from God. Last week, on Tuesday, April 8, on the insanely popular (even in our house) reality show American Idol, the top eight contestants sang for a chance to become the next American Idol. For two hours after the show aired, over thirty million votes were cast (that would be 30,000,000 votes).
The next night, Wednesday, April 9, American Idol presented a show called “Idol Gives Back” in which the contestants, the host, the judges, and many celebrities and near-celebrities encouraged Americans to give toward many great relief organizations. Several stories were shown to elicit donations – stories involving infants stricken with malaria and children dealing with Aids in Africa, and stories involving poverty and illiteracy in the United States. Just over 24 hours later, on the Thursday night results show, it was revealed that “Idol Gives Back” has raised sixty million dollars so far (that would $60,000,000).
Sixty million dollars is a huge sum of money. Unless, of course, you compare that financial total to the vote total of the night before. By comparison, American managed to raise two dollars per vote (that would be $2 per vote). As a nation, Americans value entertainment, but when it comes to giving, we only want to “give a little bit”.
For the most part, this is the state of the church and Christianity in America as well. Again, we will give, if we can only give a little bit. We will do, if we can only do a little bit.
It only takes a quick perusal of Scripture to see that God’s heart is toward the poor, the homeless, the foreigner, the widow, the orphan, the weak, the needy. As we learn especially in the New Testament, God’s heart is not moved to give a little bit, but to give the best and to give all.And, the Gospel teaches us that we, as God’s children, are given a new heart that is being changed toward God’s heart. Thus, our thoughts and our actions and our priorities should be changing toward God’s as well. And our desire to give and do should be changing from “a little bit” to “all”.
Don’t mistake this post for a rant. I am not ranting. I am simply observing that social activism is not a concern for our society, for much of the church, or in my own life. I admit that in this area my heart is more attuned to the attitudes of this culture than it is attuned to the attitudes and concerns of God. Perhaps we need a twelve step program for those who realize they should be socially active, but are not:
Hello. My name is Alan. It has been two months since I have given to or done something to help someone in need…
Below you will find links to other bloggers who are taking part in the “Social Activism and Christian Mission” synchroblog:
Phil Wyman at Square No More
Mike Bursell at Mike’s Musings
Bryan Riley at Charis Shalom
Steve Hayes writes about Khanya: Christianity and social justice
Reba Baskett at In Reba’s World
Prof Carlos Z. with Ramblings from a Sociologist
Cobus van Wyngaard at My Contemplations: David Bosch, Public Theology, Social Justic
Cindy Harvey at Tracking the Edge
Alan Knox at The Assembling of the Church
Matthew Stone at Matt Stone Journeys in Between
John Smulo at JohnSmulo.com
Sonja Andrews at Calacirian
Lainie Petersen at Headspace
KW Leslie: Shine: not let it shine
Stephanie Moulton at Faith and the Environment Collide
Julie Clawson at One Hand Clapping
Steve Hollinghurst at On Earth as in Heaven
Sam Norton at Elizaphanian: Tesco is a Big Red Herring