Hi, I’m Joe. By now, you are aware that life is hard. I will not pretend otherwise. Not only is sin ever lurking at our doors, but life is full of pain — physical, emotional, spiritual, mental, and relational — which threatens to undo us at times. You are also aware that the cultural tides are changing. No longer are we Christians considered normal, ordinary, and innocent in the eyes of the world around us.
Now, we’re often seen as the weirdos. The freaks. The ones swimming upstream, fighting societal norms in order to do what’s right.
The other day, I was gripped by Ecclesiastes 4:1, which says, “Again I saw all the oppressions that are done under the sun. And behold, the tears of the oppressed, and they had no one to comfort them! On the side of their oppressors there was power, and there was no one to comfort them.” I thought, may those words never be said of me or my church: that we did not stand up for the oppressed.
See, what has become clearer lately is that life is a battle, and there’s going to be an increasing need for the church to rise up and reach out to this hurting world we live in. Because we are fellow soldiers in the trenches together, it’s important that we unite and talk about important issues relevant to our cause along the way. As the church, we need to take responsibility to be the change we want to see in the world. Change does not start from a high-up level like the government, but the ground level, with us. This will become especially apparent if we start seeing greater oppression of people from or incited by those at the government level. Once we, the church, have accepted that we have a great responsibility, it will be time for action. We must focus our energy on ministering the love of Christ to this broken world, so that his name is glorified and his people built up. We must not assume our cause will be taken up by any other groups, organizations, or individuals. This fight belongs to the church alone.
The posts I share on this site will be written in the form of letters to the church. My purpose in these letters will be to speak directly and unashamedly to issues that I believe we face as the body of Christ, and open up conversations between us so that we can help each other think through and deal with these issues most strategically and effectively. I will not shy away from spiritual, relational, social, civic and political issues on this site, because those are the matters which shape us as a society and affect us as a church. Though our foes are mighty, the good news is that we are not alone in this battle. We have a King who has already conquered death and defeated every sin, and he’s given us his victory, too. He has set us free, and we must use our freedom to love one another, not to gratify our own fleshly desires.
Church, the time is now to rise up and reach out. It’s not going to be easy, but Christ will create the difference through us as we faithfully fight alongside one another, in his strength, for his glory. Let’s go.