Today, I shared this heartbreaking USA Today article on social media that boldly said, “… the leadership of the American church, with its superpastors and megachurches, is whistling through the graveyard. The beast that we have created, which relies on upbeat music and positivity to attract donors to sustain large budgets, leaves little room for pastors to talk about the suffering of global Christians. Like most of the culture, the American church is more concerned about college entrance scandals and “Game of Thrones” than persecution. Inoculated by entertainment and self-absorption, they are completely detached from the experience of the global church. The American church is feeding itself to death while the worldwide church is being murdered.”
I’m going to go there. Okay?
The American Church (as a whole, with a capital C) is swimming in shallow waters. We love comfort. We love easy. We love ourselves. We are addicted to the baby end of the pool. David Platt says, “We are settling for a Christianity that revolves around catering to ourselves when the central message of Christianity is actually about abandoning ourselves.”
He goes on to say, “This is the unavoidable conclusion of Matthew 10. To everyone wanting a safe, untroubled, comfortable life free from danger, stay away from Jesus. The danger in our lives will always increase in proportion to the depth of our relationship with Christ.”
If you love your life, your comfort, maybe it’s time to go deeper. To risk, to give, to really live.
Today, on World Refugee Day, I spent the afternoon with a family from Sudan who lost everything. Everything. Last week, I spent the day with a family who had just arrived in the USA from the Congo just three months ago and another day with a family from Syria who have been here less than a month. I didn’t do it for them as much as I did for me. I’m tired of the shallow end and I long to go deeper with Jesus and this is where I keep finding him…among the poor, persecuted and unwanted in our world.
These women now have dignified jobs at Mercy House Global and they represent countless other in more than 30 countries who make fair trade product. They work. We sell what they make. We work together. We fight incredible battles on a a weekly basis to get product through civil wars and provide jobs in the heart of conflict. We are working in some areas where it is illegal to be a Christian, with women who could be killed for their faith.
But something is missing from this equation. It’s you (or maybe a friends, neighbor, family member)
Did you know that June is the dreaded month of every retailer? It’s the month, retail stores lose money because sales are so low. Last summer, we hit a huge financial cash flow crisis at Mercy House Global. June is the month we ask how many Fair Trade Friday subscriptions we need to fill. Today, the answer is 90.
I’m asking you to go deeper.
Don’t tell me you don’t need more stuff, please. This isn’t about stuff. It’s about a hand up through dignified work instead of a hand out. It’s about dignity (and trust me, someone you know would LOVE to receive this from you as a gift).
If you join Fair Trade Friday before June 24th, you’ll get our Deeper themed box…. a woven turkish beach towel and a trendy “beach hair don’t care” pouch is made by women in Kolkata set free from trafficking, the wave ring by women in Azerbaijan who are risking their lives to follow Jesus and finally, handy hair ties made my a refugee from Nepal…. ALL of this for $32.99