Yesterday I asked the question, “what is the churches response to violence, fear, and those in need when all 3 are presented at the same time?” This was my way of lamenting and discerning how my responses were either appropriate, enough, or falling short. I began searching the interwebs for examples of where the Church has lived up to the great commission and for examples where the Church has fallen short of our calling to be disciples of Jesus Christ.
“That’s why France is suffering… they are wicked in the sight of God.” – “Pastor” Steven Anderson
While poking around on the internet Tuesday I found the above gem. “Pastor” (or ass-hat) Steven Anderson went on a 51 minute sermon rant about the recent terrorist attacks in France. Anderson is
famous infamous for hate-filled sermons.
In June 2015 he said, “I hope God touches Bruce Jenner’s heart like this. I hope God touches Bruce Jenner’s heart like this.” The entire time, Anderson is gesturing to his chest similar to the scene from Indian Jones and the Temple of Doom. This is a prime example of how, in my opinion (which is based on my reading of scripture, experience of grace, and the tradition laid before me by mentors), the Church is failing to respond to violence, fear, and global poverty.
It is easier for church leaders to rant from the pulpit about how those people deserved what they got because they were not living up to my (Anderson’s) twisted interpretation of scripture. He goes on to explain that death and killing happens because of the music we listen to and the people we associate with. Funny. I remember reading somewhere, maybe in that Bible book, about a man who spent his ENTIRE ministry associating with the wrong people. I recall a man calling a tax-collector to be a disciple. I remember a man standing in front of a crowd, a crowd that was ready to stone a woman to death for committing adultery (the 2000 year ago equivalent of sexting/posting a crotch picture to snapchat/anything that you do on Tinder), and telling them that the person without sin should cast the first stone.
It is frustrating, mind-boggling, and down right despicable to say that the victims of violence deserved what they got. Especially coming from someone who is suppose to be a representative of the one who gives us the example of how we are suppose to interact and engage with those whom society tells us are not worthy of our time, efforts, or worry.
I needed a pick-me-up after l
istening to scratching my ear drums out while Ass-Hat Anderson continued his hate-filled monologue. Where have you seen pastors, churches, or faith communities responding in a positive manner towards the refugee crisis that continues to unfold in Syria, throughout the Middle East, and in Europe?