As Eugene Cho commented recently, it’s altogether too easy to act like a jerk in the name of “contending” for the Gospel.

I think Rob Bell’s characterization of broader American culture is unfortunately true of the church many times as well: “There is this low-grade boiling rage that many people carry around with them everywhere they go.”

[Ironic edit: The aforementioned Rob Bell has become a trending topic on Twitter because of a group of people who are adamantly opposed to him, filled with the typical name-calling, gnashing of teeth, and end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it hysterics typical to such trending topics.]

Apologies for sounding like a stereotypical, institution-suspicious Xer when I say this (but totally not apologizing for still nerding out over The Breakfast Club, as seen in the photo above!), but I am growing weary of the infighting in my denomination. I think we could play a pretty mean game of church insider-bingo with the vocab being thrown around: tall steeple churches, white papers, open letters, angry responses, clarification letters… BINGO!

Please don’t misunderstand me: I have strong convictions about many of the important topics being discussed. I believe we should stay true to our Reformation heritage in “reformed, always being reformed” and to prayerfully seek faithfulness to God’s calling.  The practical reality, though, is that these conversations rarely lead anywhere except around in circles: resolutions, arguments, you’re not listening to me / no, you’re not listening to me, call for further study, open letters, petty squabbles, power struggles, passive-aggression, and on and on.

I would much rather pick a fight that’s worth fighting.

Over the next three years, Justice Ventures International is committed to bringing greater freedom, justice, and restoration to 3,000 women, children, and men who are enslaved and oppressed in India, China, and around the world.

I want my life to count for the Gospel. I want the burning rage I feel at knowing kids around the world are being trafficked for evil purposes to translate into creative action for their restoration — to let them know that, no matter how dark and broken this world can be, God has not given up on them. In this sense, Zack de la Rocha is right, “Your anger is a gift.”

I want to live the beautiful fight depicted so vividly in Micah 6:8,

He has shown all you people what is good.

And what does the Lord require of you?

To act justly

and to love mercy

and to walk humbly with your God.

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