CLINTON, NEW JERSEY – I can’t understand why, with all the suffering in the world, we evangelical Christians are known by the non-evangelical world mainly for our stands against abortion and gay rights. Why these two issues, but not our campaign to stop the rape and genocidal-scale murder of women and children in Darfur, not our stand supporting AIDS medication for the poverty-lashed sick and dying of the world, not for clean water for the world’s polluted villages for Christ’s sake. Not even save the whales for God’s sake. I think it might be because there are no such campaigns.
Did you read about the Rev. Joel Hunter who resigned as president of the Christian Coalition last week before he was even installed? He’s the senior pastor of one of those giant megachurches down in Florida, as evangelical as they come. The Christian Coalition changed their mind about his suitability after the Washington Post reported that “in addition to opposing abortion and same-sex marriage, Hunter, 58, wanted to take on such issues as poverty, global warming and HIV/AIDS.” Hunter said, “My position is, unless we are caring as much for the vulnerable outside the womb as inside the womb, we’re not carrying out the full message of Jesus.”
That was enough for the Christian Coalition. Hunter resigned gracefully. About the CC, Hunter said, “They began to think this might threaten their base or evaporate some of their support, and they said they just couldn’t go there.”
To me, there’s a staggering inconsistency in the way we practice our faith. I tend to blame it on the inherent small-mindedness and village attitudes of our sinful human nature. How can people go on reading the Bible yet ignore the suffering in this world beyond their own families and friends? Where is the Holy Spirit? Why isn’t he filling our lives with the grace to fight back against growing worldwide suffering and misery? How come?