One of my friends, still a young man to me, asked a question on Facebook about why every Christian and every church wasn’t actively involved in finding a home for every child who needs to be adopted.
It’s a good thought, and I’ve asked similar questions since I was a teenager. Here’s a problem: What should we do? What should I do?
My doctorate is in Christian Ethics. I wanted (and still want) to cure every ill, fix every problem, right every wrong, join every cause, and march in every parade. All of it can’t be done by one person or even by a single church.
What I recommend is that every person and every church adopt three Big Issues. Mine have shifted over the years. Racism was the Big One of my childhood and adulthood. In my world, it still is. That’s a battle I suspect I will fight until the day I die. I marched to get the Confederate flag off the dome of the South Carolina State House. I go out of my way to befriend African-Americans, to listen to them, and, by extension, others who look different than I do. I write. I preach. I’ve stayed in trouble during my entire ministry for pushing the boundaries with regard to race relations.
When I was younger and the US was building bombs by the truckload and Nuclear Proliferation dominated the Cold War, I got involved in Peacemaking. Jesus said a few things about Peacemaking. I drove to Washington with two other ministers from Batesburg to visit our Senators and Congressman to state our concern. I invested energy to challenge America’s tendency to get into wars at the drop of a hat.
There are fifty issues I could spend ten hours a day trying to resolve:
Campaign finance reform,
Family issues—divorce, polygamy, affairs, forced marriage
Freedom of expression,
Political corruption/buying votes,
Separation of church and state,
Sports—concussions, winning at any cost, gambling,
War and peace,
Pick three and follow up with those. Be informed. Do something. You can’t do it all. What’s not acceptable, in my opinion, is shaking your head sadly and doing nothing. Volunteers are always needed. Money is always needed. Local board members are always needed.
As a pastor, I tried to give church members information at forums. I was always aware there are at least two very different opinions on most issues, e.g., gun control, homosexuality, abortion, immigration, and the death penalty.
I guess this is why political parties choose “platforms.” Even Miss America candidates have a “platform.” Pretend you’re a celebrity and adopt a cause. Three causes. You can’t do everything, but you can do something.