The New York Daily News isn’t attacking God or religion… this is an attack on religious platitudes from politicians (ie. empty “spiritual” words instead of some form of political action).
While I wish the title of the article didn’t jump out as a bold proclamation against the activity of God vs. the evils of this world, it’s not the New York Daily News that we should be upset with. It’s us!
It’s those of us who claim to know God and have reduced promises of prayer to meaningless “hallmark-ian” sympathies. Maybe it’s time that we stop saying that we’re praying!
Now listen, I know that praying, for those who believe in God, isn’t an empty gesture or a worthless sentiment. To everyone else, however, it reads that way. In fact, I read one social media post (which I won’t link to here) which essentially said that every “praying for ______” post they see reads more like, “I know something awful happened to someone else today but don’t forget about me!”
I know that might be an extreme example… but it’s out there.
Friends, faith without works is empty, dead and all too often par for the Christian course (James 2:14-26). Christ-followers tend to talk a big religious talk but fail to invest their time, talents and/or resources to back it up. When something like this happens we should absolutely be first responders, but our response needs to be more than a praying hands emoji or it’s verbal counterpart. What’s the plan? What can we do? How can we mobilize ourselves to make a difference?
I’m not claiming to know what action is necessary. I’m not anti or pro NRA. This isn’t a political rant… I just really want Christian people to start thinking about what they’re doing and saying before they do or say it.
Also, if you want to respond to a tragedy but don’t have anything helpful to add then please don’t just add to the countless number of empty religious social media promises (#prayingfor_____, thoughts and prayers go out to _______, etc.).
Instead, could I encourage you to simply spend a little time researching a number of thoughtful and intelligent bloggers online and share what they have to say!!!
Here are some great resources to check first:
- Andy Crouch – http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2015/december-web-only/thoughts-and-prayers-after-san-bernardino-shooting.html
- Russell Moore – https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2015/12/03/what-we-lose-when-we-prayer-shame-politicians-after-a-mass-shooting/
- Melissa Kruger, Trevino Wax, Jared C. Wilson, Justin Taylor, Kevin DeYoung and pretty much everyone on http://blogs.thegospelcoalition.org/gospeldrivenchurch/
- Emma Green – http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/12/prayer-gun-control-mass-shooting-san-bernardino/418563/?utm_source=SFTwitter
- Ed Stetzer – http://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2015/december/when-tragedy-strikes-we-must-pray-and-act.html
Ummm… perhaps a guide for Christians about Social Media is needed! I’ve started working on it & you can find part 1 here: