My Dad is a Tom Clancy fan... an incredible author, Clancy writes brilliant governmental/military fiction. One of these days, I'll get around to reading the books, but the movies that have been created from them, are also well done. As I was thinking yesterday about this post, I was reminded of a quote from one of the movies, Clear & Present Danger.
The CIA Analyst character Jack Ryan is played by Harrison Ford and in this movie, a close friend of the President is murdered along with his family by the Colombian drug cartel. Of course, it's political, the course of action the President would really like to take is one that he "can't suggest". So, catching the subliminal message, the National Security Advisor steps past the deputy director of intelligence and meets with the deputy director of operations (Ritter), to put together a field operative and a special ops team to conduct a covert, para-military take-down of the cartel. Meanwhile, Ryan's boss (the deputy dir. of intelligence), is diagnosed with cancer and quickly succumbs. Ryan is promoted to the post, but remains out of the loop on the covert operation.
As the plot thickens (and unfolds) Ryan comes to the revelation of what is going on and how high the mission originates. With his word and career now on the line, he confronts Ritter and ultimately the President. Ritter calls Ryan out; that his problem is that he sees life in black and white. Ryan quips back, that it's not black and white, but right and wrong.
In a profound moment of truth, as the two exit the conversation, Ritter declares...
"The World is gray, Jack!"
So with that set-up, what's the point? As we engage #communitySaturday, life is increasingly complex. The information that's available, people's experience, their casual relationship with the truth and the relative scale of morality that seemingly permeates our culture... people do indeed have a sense of right and wrong; yet somehow society has a problem hearing it from the church.
Is it failures in church leadership?
The double-standard present among Christians?
Perhaps it's the perception that Christians are perfect or that they present themselves as such?
Speaking the truth has been misconstrued all too often as passing judgement.
Have we neglected to speak truth with compassion as Christ did?
Some things have changed since the days of Christ simply ending the conversation with "go and sin no more". However, some things haven't changed since His telling someone that their possessions stood in the way eternity and the young man was offended. And the offense is dominant. Having rights and making them known has become more important than knowing what's right and living it. I for one, am daily reminded, I have too many faults on display to be asserting my "rights" worthy of someone else' respect. Furthermore, if my life and identity are in Christ, then it's true... I am second; to what God desires from me and what He seeks to accomplish in my life. The same is true for the rest of us. Therein lies the great spiritual battle.
On this #communitySaturday, pray the truth of God would be revealed. Pray the walls of hearts would fall, that have been built against the things of God. May there be moments of revelation; that the light of Christ would illuminate hearts and minds. Pray for clarity in people's understanding of who God is, why Christ came and His plan for our lives on earth and our eternal destiny. May we lay our "rights" at the feet of the Cross, allowing the transforming power of God to work in our lives, rather than allowing a wall of offense to fill the gap the separates us. Pray God would help us as followers of Christ, to speak the truth in love and with compassion. May we not be afraid to speak, but wise as how we live, to not maliciously offend.
While the world may be gray,
Heaven is holy.
May we be people of the Word.
Speaking the truth.
Living for an audience of One.
Placing our rights down
Allowing His righteousness at work in us.
For the cause of Jesus Christ.
Just a man, attempting to fulfill God's plan. Husband, Dad, Dreamer. Blogger.