Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Watching the Jews put on trains

I don't like U2. It's unChristian I know. I don't like Bono much either, which means I like even less quoting him. But I was reading a devotional book on James by John Dixon which had this quote from him that is spot on. It was looking at James 1:27 (the devotional, not Bono's quote) and caring for the poor. During a world tour Bono spoke to church congregations about AIDS and poverty that claims the lives of 6,500 people a day. He said;
I think Judeo-Christian culture is at stake. If the church doesn't respond to this, the church will be made irrelevant. It would be like the way you heard stories of people watching the Jews put on trains during the Holocaust. We will be the generation who watched our African brothers and sisters get put on trains.

I think he is right. It's easy and so often we look back at Christians in past generations and think "How on Earth could they be Christian and do that?". I think in years to come Christians will look back at the church of the 21st century, with all it's access to technology and media that allows everyone to see the poverty that goes on around the globe, and see us buying our plasmas, our big houses, and our expensive holidays and not do anything about the poor. They will say "How on Earth could they be Christian and do that?"

He went on to say
'Love thy neighbour is not a piece of advice, it's a command...Christ talks about the poor and says "Whatever you have done to the least of these brothers of mine, you've done to me". In Africa right now, the least of my brethren are dying in shiploads and we are not responding'.

I think if we all examine ourselves seriously, we'll know that we are not responding as we ought, and that we are guilty of ignoring something so wretched. I know I am. The question is, what am I going to do about? What do you think we can do about it? Should I wear a 'Make Poverty History' arm band?

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