After a weekend of "family time" at my uncle Chuck's funeral, this quote from Russell Moore seems particularly relevant.
"It sure helps to love invisible people. That’s why one rattles on and on about “The Family” while neglecting his kids. That’s why another “fights” for “social justice” by “raising consciousness” about “The Poor” while judging his friends on how trendy their clothes are. And that’s why one pontificates on “The Church” while rolling his eyes at the people in his actual congregation."
"“The Family” never shows up unexpected for Thanksgiving or criticizes your spouse or spills chocolate milk all over your carpet; only real families can do that. “The Poor” don’t show up drunk for the job interview you’ve scheduled or spend the money you’ve given them on lottery tickets or tell you they hate you; only real poor people can do that. “The Church” never votes down my position in a congregational business meeting or puts on an embarrassingly bad Easter musical or asks me to help clean toilets for Vacation Bible School next week; only real churches can do that."
"As long as “The Family” or “The Poor” or “The Church” are abstract concepts, as long as my interaction is as distant as a government policy, they can be whoever I want them to be."
"The Spirit warns us about this. Jesus lit into the Pharisees for “fighting for” the Law of God while ignoring their financial obligations to their parents, all under the guise of their religious advocacy (Mark 7:10-12). The Apostle Paul tells us that a man who doesn’t “provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household” has “denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Tim 5:9)."
"And James, particularly, shows us the difference between “fighting” for a cause, and loving people. “If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be wrmed and filled,’ without giving them the things needed for te body, what good is that?” (James 2:15-16). “Be warmed and filled” is advocacy; “get in here” is love."
Read the entire article here.