Ebola outbreak. Christian genocide in Iraq. Gaza and Israel. Mark Driscoll and his church Mars Hill removed from the Acts29 network.
My mind is swimming in an overwhelming sea of outrageous news and current events.
What is this world coming to?
What the heck is Obama doing?
Why isn’t the US doing anything?
These seem to be some of the general questions being asked by the many people disturbed about the most recent breaking news. They are rather intense, even scary events that merit our concern. But I also know just how easy it is for us to quickly dismiss these topics, after agreeing on how horrid they are, simply because we are not personally acquainted with them. Interesting, isn’t it, that unless it affects us directly we can easily cast it aside and worry more about things that cause us personal distress like the flu that hijacks our health, stress at work, or the frustration when things in our life are not going as planned.
I just recently read an article by Dr. Albert Mohler addressing Ann Coulter’s most recent opinion piece, “Ebola Doc’s Condition Downgraded to ‘Idiotic.” To put it simply, Ann Coulter is convinced that this missionary doctor, Kent Brantly has foolishly wasted time, effort, and money on mere humanitarian services in a third world country. She believes Dr. Brantly would have had greater, worldwide impact if he would have remained inside the US providing medical healthcare to people in positions of power. She poses this question, “Can’t anyone serve Christ in America anymore?”
From an outside glance that question seems harmless. And I will agree with Ann that in order to see any substantial change, a sure fire way is to start from the top and work your way down. Converting the king will inevitably convert the kingdom.
But Ann Coulter believes that the reason for why some American Christians go on mission trips to disease ridden cesspools is because they’re tired of fighting the culture war in the the United States. Instead, they slink off to Third World countries, away from American culture to do good works. She then goes on to say, “Christians need to buck up, serve their own country, and remind themselves every day of Christ’s words: ‘If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.’ There may be no reason for panic about the Ebola doctor, but there is reason for annoyance at Christian narcissism.”
And this is where I lose any possible concurrence I might have had with Ann and firmly stand with Dr. Albert Mohler as he writes in response, “American evangelical Christians did not come up with the Great Commission because we were frustrated with losses in (against) the culture war. American Christians are not ‘slinking off’ to foreign countries in order to escape the United States; they are going in obedience to the command of Christ.”
My dear friends, your “calling” is of upmost importance. All Christians in all the world have one general calling and purpose: to make disciples. Now I ask you, have you been called? To where have you been called: here or there, to stay or to go? Have you been obedient to that calling?
You may have a special calling to be a doctor or to be a teacher, but that is merely the means to help you fulfill God’s very specific call of making disciples. Are you burdened by the Great Commission, are you driven by God’s extremely personal command on your life?
I believe that any Christian that is not impassioned by their calling to the Great Commission is found quite guilty of narcissism.
If Ebola, the genocide in Iraq, Gaza, Mark Drischoll, and former mega pastor Bob Coy’s moral failure do not aggressively motivate christians all the more to advance the gospel and make disciples, then that, my friends, is narcissism at its finest.