One of my hobbies is listening to short wave radio. I have enjoyed doing this as a kid and was amazed that from my room I could listen to the BBC, Radio Ecuador, and many other exotic and foreign locales. It was also interesting to listen to “enemy” stations such as Radio Moscow or Radio Havana and here how they would report (or ignore) international events.
Unlike television or regular radio stations though, these signals seemed to alway be in flux. So to listen you needed to have your hand near the tuner to adjust it a little bit up or down as the signal moved about. There was no putting the radio up on a table. You had to keep it in your lap as you listened and frequently made little adjustments.
Sometimes I feel the church tries to stay in tune with the times but they don’t adjust as our culture frequently changes (not much but enough to get us out of sync) and we sometimes miss out on the “signal” all together. I also fear that sometimes, like the old Radio Moscow, they simply ignore events that might be too “controversial.”
Let’s take what will end up being a major decision of our lifetimes, the decision to go to war in Iraq and Afghanistan (or by extension our ongoing efforts in the war and the challenges facing our military members). As a military member, I don’t speak out on this topic since I see it as a conflict of interests. But I have been disappointed at how little the larger church has to say on this major issue. I think we shy away from it because it’s too controversial.
Or, let’s bring it closer to home. What are the major issues effecting the lives of most of the population of our cities? Churches try to speak out on current issues but how often are they in dialog with people who are actually struggling? The desire is there but we often don’t have that signal just right.
I don’t belive the church should be a deabating seminar. But I do believe we need to speak God’s Word clearly on issues of importance. When Jesus walked into town, not everyone agreed with him. If we never say anything that anyone would disagree with – I doubt we are speaking God’s Word. And if we don’t talk to people about their struggles, it’s like a radio turned up but not on a station at all.
What specific issuses do I feel the church needs to “tune in” (either a little or a lot)?
a. Personal spending.
b. The homeless, hungry, or those lacking medical care.
c. Parenting in 2009.
e. The tie between physical and spiritual health.
f. Churches in our nation being incredibly mono-lingual.
g. Fear being an accepted primary motivator in our society.
h. Our hesitancy to accept new forms of music.
i. The lack of Biblical literacy.
j. The lack of ecumenicism in Christ’s larger Church.
k. Spiritual growth.
These are just a few. How do you think we can do better? What other issues do we comfortably stay “tuned out.” Are there ways we are “tuned in” that I am not recognizing? I hope you’ll send in some comments.
All the Best and In Christ,