Thursday, April 22, 2010

Big Voice, Small Audience

Have you ever heard of John M. Perkins? Probably not. At the least, I’d call him a prophet: announcing God’s desires to the people. He has been on the forefront of racial reconciliation and inner city development among other things. Today I had the last minute opportunity to hear him speak at a small church in Seattle.

He’s almost 80 years old, but a powerful speaker. He preaches the Gospel: God’s desire and plan to reconcile with humanity. And he speaks to the 21st century American. “How can we pray for another expensive car when 30,000 children die everyday across the world? We pray for our ‘cups to overflow’ but we’re carrying around cups larger than we need.”

“We have to civilize our leaders.” The politicians have lost touch. They’re in it for themselves. And we’re too afraid to give up our slice of the pie – even though others hardly have crumbs. How can we object to more taxes when 40 million people don’t have healthcare? Will we have to apologize to God for letting people die and spending our time accumulating? He is so passionate about the poor and marginalized, as evidenced in his tearfully closing.

After his talk I went to my car and took the 40 minute drive home. I couldn’t listen to the radio. I couldn’t fill my mind with anything else. He wants me to give away more of my money, to live less comfortably? He wants me to spend my life for others? No wonder the audience was so small. Anyone who hears that message probably isn’t going to return to his next speaking engagement, let alone bring their friends. Besides, the NFL draft is on tonight. I’ve got other things to think about.

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