Confessions of a reluctant activist.
Recently, I attended two conferences. The first, hosted by a Christian law firm, advised attendees on the state of religious freedom in Canada today, and the rights and obligations of the church. The second aimed at inspiring Christians to greater political involvement. Neither presented an optimistic view religious freedom in Canada. The first instructed Christians how to be involved legally in the Canadian Public Square, and the second warned of the marginalisation of the church. I longed for a third seminar: “How To Sleep At Night in a Scary World.” I get exhausted just thinking about the important issues facing Christians each day. There are many urgent matters that confront us globally, nationally, and in our own back yard.
For example, as I write this, the house next door is surrounded by police cruisers. But this is the norm for our neighbourhood. Our street is under siege from drug dealers, prostitutes, users, slum-lords, and other criminals. We choose to live here because it is our calling to do so, and we sleep well at night (ok, most nights), because this too is our Father’s world. God is as present and sovereign here as He is in the suburbs.
But there are larger political issues, such as same-sex marriage and the right of religious protest. If I allowed every urgency, every issue, every cause to become “the” cause, I couldn’t make it a week.
I am a reluctant activist. I do what I can within the limits of time and gifts God has granted me. So whether I deal with same-sex marriage and its implications, or the drug deal going down in the alley behind my house, I must remember that neither manner of chaos shall prevail over the ever-advancing Kingdom of God. Marriage will not be changed, because no church or government has real power or ability to change it. Neither can God be legislated out public life. Nor will lawlessness finally prevail in my neighbourhood. This place too, is His. He uses our presence as salt and light, globally and locally, but we are in no sense indispensable to His work. God is still sovereign and in control of the events of humans. Now I can get some rest.
©2005 Scott Jacobsen, Published in the Winter 2005 Alberta Bible College Evangel