Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Moral Campaigners

God calls does not call Christians to be "moral campaigners". The Pharisees were the moral campaigners of Jesus time. They loved to find fault with the weak and sinful people in their society, but Jesus criticised them for their lack of mercy and their spiritual blindness. He showed mercy to those trapped in the grip of sin.

The Pharisees got things all wrong. They could not see their own sin, so they seemed like hypocrites. They dealt harshly with weak people who had been seduced by a culture of sin and were not clever enough to hide it, but missed the far more serious sins of society’s leaders. They focused on obvious sexual sins, but were blinded to the more deceptive sins that open the nation to evil. This should be a serious warning to those who campaign against sin.

God does not need moral campaigners, but he does call a few of his people to speak prophetically to the nation. These prophets will remind the nation of God’s standards and warn of the consequences for society. A key part of their role is to identify the core evils that are the root of their society’s problems. They will not be obsessed with the more obvious sexual sins, but will focus on the subtle shifts in attitude that creep in and open the door to real evil. They will know that the sins of their political and cultural leaders are usually well hidden, but are really dangerous to society.

True prophets will be concerned about devious and influential sins, like pride, selfishness and "state idolatry". They will be less concerned about sexual sins, as these generally only emerge when other more subtle sins have already taken hold in society. Blatant sexual sin is a symptom of a sick world, but is not the root cause. Prophets will be more concerned about the cause than the symptoms. They will focus on the issues that are really damaging their society.

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