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Discrepancies and Denial

In hopes of raising awareness about the reality of genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan, Sam writes every Monday about a key issue in an attempt to stop the atrocity. Doing so may not bring about a wave of change, but it is a small ripple that represents the tide that needs turning.

In a group I spoke with last Friday, I mentioned that the discussion about the social discrepancies in America is largely being originated by rappers and movie stars. The tragedy is that the church is not beginning or continuing these discussions. And, in some cases, the church is perpetuating these discrepancies by denying they even exist.

One of the most outspoken American media columnists, Nicholas Kristof, wrote an excellent piece last week highlighting the discrepancies between the Christianity of today and the path of Jesus as it relates to the situation in Darfur. While some of his conclusions are clearly fiction, the theme of the article cannot be denied: there is something wrong with American Christian priorities when we eagerly fight the “war on Christmas” and ignore the war in Sudan.

When Kanye West and Nicholas Kristof highlight mass atrocities in our society, their message has the potential to reach the multitudes. When the church ignores their admonition, its effectiveness wanes. Meant to be a refuge in a time of need, the church now prostitutes itself to the power players that have money and influence. And, as always, the casualties are the ones the church has been ignoring all along: the lame, the sick, the blind, the outcast, the refugee, and the poor.

Until the church helps to shape the agenda on leveling the playing field across the world, its voice will remain ineffective. It is not that the message of the church is falling on deaf ears; it is being spoken with a mute voice. The American church has a chance to influence and reverse one of the greatest atrocities in history. To do so, it will need to relinquish its desire to meddle in the meaningless war on Christmas, and engage instead in the war on humanity. Destroying countless lives in Africa are armies bent on wiping out entire races. For the church to stand against this discrepancy would allow it to make its mark by following in the way of Jesus, promoting humanity and equality for all.

“Discrepancies and Denial”