how much love do frightened churches share? (article published in "The State" (SC)

 COLUMBIA, SC At a local church a few Sundays ago, an usher asked to search my bags, which I was carrying because I was homeless at the time. I cheerfully submitted to what could have been an embarrassing search of my property, noting that “Even if someone does come in here and kill us, at least we know we’re going to heaven.” Loving approval on his face, he exclaimed “Amen, sister!” That made me feel good. By the time it was over, he was thanking me. But I felt ashamed of the lack of faith inherent in that request, and worried for the souls of the members of that church. If society’s temperature is set on freezing, the church’s atmosphere is often sub-zero. What if I had told him he couldn’t search my bags? Would he had told me to leave? Would a bomber or terrorist submit to the search, or just pull out his guns and kill everyone? I don’t want to downplay the Emmanuel AME massacre, but I also don’t want to be part of the mass hysteria. Isn’t fear the opposite of faith? How can we say we have faith if we have a church and a parking lot full of police officers? Timothy tells us in his second epistle that “God has not given us a spirit of fear but of love, of power and a sound mind.” Have you had your bags checked at a church? How would that make you feel about that church? There are bars in South Carolina that don’t check people’s bags. It’s normal, even human, to be afraid, but since when are believers normal? We’re supposed to be unfettered from the chains of society, to stand out. Who will be the thermostat that sets this society ablaze with love? The epitome of faith and Christ-likeness is confidence to put others first and treat them well, no matter how badly you think they may be treating you. We should be consumed with showing others Christ. Our question should always be “How can I serve people?” and “What can I do to make someone else smile?” Not “What can I do to preserve my comfortable situation in life?” or “How can I protect my own cowardice and spread my fear like the chicken pox in second grade?” Liberty V Justice Columbia
Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

Featured collection