Holy Lord, we weep today. Forgive our corruption in high places and the hidden places of our hearts. Forgive our anger that destroys pure affection and sullies our actions. Forgive our winking at evil, wherever it is found. Forgive our self-righteous selectivity concerning what is good, forgetting that your ways are eternal. Forgive our idolatry as we cozy up to power, regardless of party. Forgive our immorality as we defy your Word concerning the marginal and vulnerable, from conception to coronation, from every culture and country. Forgive our injustice as we have failed too often to make a way for all to flourish.
Lord, your kingdom is established through love and humility, peacemaking and reconciliation, hospitality and holiness. Too often we have taken your place as the arbiters of others’ souls and failed to let your Spirit do surgery in us and in the systems we live in.
We weep for the unprotected unborn, the forgotten aged, and the sisters and brothers deprived of access and equity. We weep for those ensnared in ideologies antithetical to true freedom. We weep over the passivity of so many while shrill voices dominate public discourse. Forgive us, merciful Lord.
Forgive our fatalism and hubris, our cynicism and hedonism. Our happiness is not your first concern, but a consequence of a life lived for your glory and the good of others. Forgive the privileged for abusing their opportunities to serve.
Lord, you raise up and bring down nations and empires, and our beautiful and broken land is not exempt from your scrutinizing sovereignty. Have mercy on our land. We do not deserve your mercies, but please hear the unseen prayers of the humble and extend your grace, offering a season for repentance and righteousness, renewal and reform.
Lord have mercy. Christ have mercy. Amen.
Learning thoughtfulness amidst the overwhelming data around us is challenging. In our desires for peace and justice, we must refine our critical thinking capacities and recognize what is timeless truth and what are timely opinions.
Here are some differences that make a difference:
Legitimate outrage about racism vs. anarchy and destruction.
Repairing historic, systemic injustices vs. calls for ending the family and imposing Marxism.
Repentance of prejudices of class, gender, and race vs. hatred for anyone with traditional values.
Passionate, principled debate vs. a cancel culture of personal destruction.
Building a world with true toleration vs. fear of violence.
Serious journalistic inquiry and allowing real evidence to further investigation vs. repetition of talking points and allegations.
Repairing our environment vs. alarmism cloaking wealth redistribution.
Accepting history as a tapestry of beautiful and broken narratives vs. cherry picking for agendas.
Treating every person with dignity and respect and respecting cultural diversity vs. blanket categorizations and generalizations.
Freedom of conscience allowing us to bring our best selves to the public square vs. privatizing any moral and religious convictions.
Let’s help the world be more thoughtful.
American and European public squares are replete with extremism,
polarizing language, and moral cowardice. Yes, that is correct: moral
cowardice. Political correctness and an unwillingness to confront facts
are deceiving millions into buying into false historical narratives and
feeling paralyzed about making any absolute statements. Here are some
paradoxical realities that deserve critical thinking and deep
reflection, not platitudes and soundbites.
jihadists do not believe in fostering a pluralistic society, with
liberty of conscience/religion, free speech and diverse worldviews
learning civility and common good unity. While the vast majority of
Muslims live peaceably with neighbors of all faiths or none, the
agitators are proposing either a gradual or abrupt takeover of the West
(and the rest) in the name of their faith. Extremists defend the
subjugation and even extermination of all opponents of Islam and in
chilling Orwellian fashion, declare that true “freedom” is only found in
submission to their version of Islam.
makes the above particularly nefarious is the cozy relationship between
the pagan-secular Left and radical Islam. The political Left will
persecute artists and bakers for refusing to endorse same sex weddings
but turn a blind eye to the jihadist’s oppression of women,
anti-Semitism, and blatant denunciations of gender and sexual liberty!
This is moral cowardice where hatred of Jewish and Christian morality
triumphs over history and reason.
kills babies. While a tragic necessity in rare cases of the mother’s
survival or baby’s unviability, “pro-choice” advocates are now
celebrating the termination of life at all stages, from early gestation
to infanticide. And anyone who disagrees is depriving women of
reproductive rights. The missing part of this “pro-choice” extremism is
the choices men and women make that lead to conception and the
irresponsibility of fathers in particular to care for the fruit of their
intimacy. While incest and rape may be presented as exceptions, the
vast majority (97%+) of abortions are elective due to economic or
emotional issues. This is moral cowardice.
refusal of many conservative Christians to face the realities of
emotional and sexual abuse, racism, and sexism within their histories
and current structures is also moral cowardice. In a convoluted desire
not to bring shame to the church or the gospel, leaders that cover
serious transgressions or make excuses for a lack of justice actually do
greater harm to Christian witness. Regardless of ecclesial traditions,
no person should feel disempowered or marginalized by any church.
Becoming intentional about lamenting our tragic history of racism and
sexism can lead to new friendships and true reconciliation. Victims of
abuse must be heard and helped, and perpetrators brought to justice.
cowardice can be overcome with humility and love, intentional
repentance and resolution, and fostering new friendships across the
barriers we create, and Jesus died to destroy and transform.