Castles in the Sand

When the waters rise, will our castles remain?

Pastor speaking on a platform

We can’t afford to be vague. We can’t claim on one hand that the Bible applies to us today and have application points at the end of each sermon while on the other hand try to close our eyes and ignore its impact on the single most powerful secular institution in our nation and lives.

Selfie with man and woman in front of Notre Dame Cathedral

As a follower of Christ, I’m torn. These buildings bring glory
to God and play foundational roles in the faith of so many people, both
attendees and visitors. They’ve stood for decades, centuries, and, in some cases, millennia, and we
should do everything we can to ensure they stand for more so future generations
can experience them. At the same time, what kind of impact could $1 billion dollars have to help the poor, hungry, and sick of Paris and beyond? And locally, what could $18 million do for the homeless of Pierce County? Do we really have our priorities in order when we are so willing to pledge huge sums of money to keep old buildings that we claim represent love for the least of these rather than spending that money to, well, love the least of these?

Baseball jersey back with 34 and Hernandez

Baseball has always been my first love sport. And, as someone who grew up in this area, the Mariners have always been my team. At times (to be honest, most of the time), that’s been rough. But for nearly 15 years we had hope of something better. Every fifth day, we knew Felix was taking the mound and we might see history. The joy with which he carried himself just increased our joy in watching him succeed. And his decision to stay when he could have (and honestly should have) left for greener pastures and a better chance to win will always be something I’m thankful for.

Silhouette of hands raised with the word "Jesus" in the background

A couple issues with this. First, among all the different sects and communities of self-proclaimed (because, as I mentioned above, a lot of them clearly aren’t real) Christians, a lot of these focuses aren’t universally desired. Second – and most importantly – I actually don’t find any support for almost any of these in the words and deeds of Jesus. And if the “Christ” in our term “Christian” is supposed to be Jesus, shouldn’t His words and deeds warrant at least some consideration?

Silhouette of a pastor delivering a sermon

Leaders will be held to a higher standard. And for good reason, because people trust them to provide guidance. Jesus and James warned us of this fact. And even though I’m in no way a formal church leader, that truth terrifies me. Because I know people do look to me to represent Christ, I recognize that I am a leader. And I have been complicit for far too long with a bastardization of Christ’s love.

Automatic rifle on a table

As Christians, we should be outraged that prayer has been coopted to mean inaction in the face of tragedy. Our lack of outrage means we have no right to be surprised when people discount prayer and scoff at it when we offer it in response to other situations. We have allowed this to happen.