There is no doubt that the United States, and the entire world, is teetering on the edge of economic chaos. We already in the midst of a crisis; and now, we must decide how we will deal with this crisis. There can be no doubt that we will have to do something as a people.
So, the question that arises is WHAT will we do?
I have been asking myself this question for the last couple of weeks. The church needs to do something to help the people of the world – starting in our own backyards. For me at least, the Scriptures are clear that being a Christian means helping the less fortunate – both inside the church and out.
But what will the American church – the most prosperous group of churches in the world – do?
I really don’t know.
Our church is already working with our local food bank, as well as putting together plans to help Habitat for Humanity and our local city government.
But we have to be ready to take more practical steps as well.
My wife and I have felt the crunch of the economy, staring down the barrel of a mortgage we can afford (barely) as long as the church still has the money to pay my salary. Our home is not large (around 1,800 sq ft) but if we hit any kind of economic crisis, we will be in trouble.
Thankfully, we consolidated all of our non-mortgage debt into a single loan and cut up our credit cards, so we’re no worse for wear.
I’ve long been committed to the idea of communal living as essential to the community of the church; and we have fleshed this out by opening our hope up to one of our single guys in the church, inviting him to live in a finished room downstairs for a reasonable rent. It helps him save for the future, and it helps us pay our mortgage.
American Christianity is so individualist, so prosperous and so complacent that this crisis might be good for us. It may force us to truly live in community, to truly learn how to live together and depend on one another.
I envision our outsized homes becoming havens for the less fortunate and our focus shifting from the cost of things to the need of others. I hope that Christians will do this because it is the right thing to do, but something tells me that we will seek solutions on our own rather than depend on one another.
Wouldn’t that be the ultimate tragedy?