We tend to read scripture and culture through the lens of the church. Al Roxburgh calls this “ecclesiocentrism” (page 48, Missional: Joining God in the Neighborhood). Our predisposition, he says, is to think first and foremost in terms of church questions. Scripture and culture have become secondary to, and a function of, church effectiveness questions: How do we get people into church? What does this biblical passage say about our congregation? We look at the culture and scripture through the lens of the church.
When we frame things through the lens of the church we miss out on the full breadth and depth of how God is working in the world, and we domesticate the power of scripture.
Through a series of tragedies in our immediate world – namely in Ferguson, Missouri and Staten Island, New York – not to mention a whole host of other tragedies that continue unabated in our country; I am inviting the diocese to gather at our Cathedral in Newark at 5:30 this afternoon for a candlelight prayer service. There is the tragedy of young, unarmed black men being killed. But there is a deeper tragedy of a culture that seems to live with the illusion that in order for the majority to be safe, some need to be sacrificed. That illusion is racial profiling of the first order.
The world is beckoning us to enter into it more fully, more faithfully – more courageously. To enter with our hope – and our commitment to biblical justice, that every life has equal value – and all lives deserve the full measure of God’s blessing.
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