Summary: This one is about the problems caused when we try to force Christian morality on a secular society.
Dakota Community Church
June 24, 2007
Kingdom of God III
The Jiminy Cricket Kingdom
This morning I want to continue our series of messages about the differences between the “Kingdom of God” and its citizens and the “Kingdoms of this world” and their citizens. The focus this week will be on Christianity in a social environment. How do we or should we be different as members of our community from people who are not members of the kingdom of God?
What do you believe the purpose of the church to be in society? What should be the primary objective and course of action for Canadian Christians - where our nation is concerned?
What many believers would say, and what I definitely once would have agreed with, is that we should be trying to influence the government to enact and enforce laws that line up with Christian morals and values.
We want the Church to become a kind of social “Jiminy Cricket”. We think because we know God, we must know how best to run a country, province, town, school or community centre. We believe that sinners should be forced
Since this point of view is prevalent there is a great deal of Christian “anti-sin” activity.
It becomes necessary for Christians to proclaim “hate the sin, love the sinner”, as though these were the words of Jesus.
I believe that this social conscience, Jiminy Cricket version of the Kingdom is prevalent because we don’t want to pay the price of sacrificial love and service.
On the last week end in January 2004 a national network aired a television special exposing the tragedy of child slavery and prostitution in Cambodia and Thailand. Approximately 30,000 children at any given time are being sold and used as sexual slaves in the region and the business is financed primarily by “Western” clients.
The following week there was public outcry from the evangelical community in North America. Christians were writing and e-mailing their representatives in parliament demanding that something be done. Pastors took to their pulpits to stir the church into action. News talk shows were inundated with Christian callers who were demanding that this kind of thing must not be allowed to happen. Immediate action was called for and legislation demanded as well as swift punishment for the guilty parties.
The problem is, that same weekend Super Bowl 38 aired and all this Christian outrage was not about childhood sex slavery, it was about the “wardrobe malfunction”. The fact that I don’t have to explain “wardrobe malfunction” and that every person in this room knows exactly what I am talking about is a sad testimony to the messed up reality of the Jiminy Cricket kingdom’s influence in the church.
Ever heard of straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel?
The two best examples of this mindset can be seen in the churches handling the abortion issue and the homosexual issue.
We love to take action on sins that most of us have not committed.
Maybe it’s time for us to sit down and start discussing how can we love and serve people better who are trapped in these particular sins. Maybe the church should be pioneering the fight for homosexual rights especially for thing like protection from persecution. If we loved and served these people maybe, they wouldn’t be avoiding us like the plague. Maybe we could actually build the kind of bridges that would allow us to help them find freedom, maybe we could be with them as brothers and sisters in Christ encouraging them when they fall and accepting them the same way we accept glutton, gossips, and self righteous judges.
Why should we drop this Jiminy Cricket approach in society?
1. Jesus did not do it.
As Christians our central goal in life is to imitate Jesus.
It should be significant to us that Jesus never once assumes the roll of moral guardian over another individual - let alone the culture at large.
Jesus answered, "Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid, for I know where I came from and where I am going. But you have no idea where I come from or where I am going. You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one.
Why didn’t sinless Jesus point out, condemn, and try to control people’s morality?
Think about how Jesus handled people where moral issues are concerned.
The woman caught in adultery. (No one was worthy to carry out the judgment)
The man born blind. (Jesus refuses to lay blame)
The woman at the well. (She leaves Him rejoicing)
Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, "Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?" They came out of the town and made their way toward him.