Friday, March 13, 2009

So Heavenly Bound, We're no Earthly Good...

I learned something this week.

I knew that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights(UDHR) is a declaration adopted by the United Nations in 1948.

I knew that the UDHR is considered the most translated document in the world.

I remember learning in my political science classes that the Declaration was derived directly from the world's experience of World War II. I knew that it represents the first global expressions of human rights.

I am aware that various treaties, constitutions and laws have been formulated with the UDHR as their basis.

I knew that during the course of it's 60 years in existence, the Declaration has the force of international law.

I have read that, in the face of genocidal atrocities under the administration of President of Sudan Omar Al-Bashir, the UN has issued a warrant for the arrest of President Bashir under the auspices of the Declaration and the ICC (International Criminal Court).

I've learned that this past December, in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration, the Queen of the Netherlands, Queen Beatrice invited Church of God in Christ Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake to participate in a signing of a document known as the Faith in the Declaration of Human Rights. It's purpose is to affirm that, even after the tragedy of World War Two, sixty years ago, we still agree that human rights must be protected around the world. Many diplomats and religious leaders from around the world joined in this auspicious occasion. And so Bishop Blake sent an emissary to participate on the Church's behalf.

I've also learned that this action has ignited a firestorm of controversy. There are those in the church world who have gone on record to say that participating in this exciting demonstration of peace keeping is to endorse gay marriage. Huh?? How did you get that out of this signing?? Nowhere in the Universal Declaration does the issue of gay matrimony come up. Rights where it comes down to sexual orientation are not mentioned here... The document clearly is designed to deal with tyranny, slavery and genocide.... not sex.

Then I learned that there are those who say to participate is to violate and ignore denominational doctrine. They say why are you participating with other religions.... They don't believe how we believe... The fact that Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and a host of other religions participated in this event is interesting. For my perspective, there is one common denominator with all these religions... Peace is at the foundation of total human completeness..... I don't know if that is doctrinally sound, but from my view of the world that's a fact...

Are the people of the Lord supposed to sit in our pews and do nothing as world tyranny, poverty, atrocities and the like just run rampant in the community and the world? I mean, God is in me and when he says move, I move... I believe in the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit and in it I am directed to move about the community building peace, love and working to promote social and economic justice, and alleviate poverty as tangible expressions of the Kingdom of God...

These days people are seeking God more desperately than ever, isn't that evidence that the Holy Spirit wants us to get busy in the direction of combating the evil principalities in the world and promote peace and love?

Church folk need to stop getting so caught up in holiness that you can't see the forest for the trees.. We need to get out of our pews, get from behind the walls of our churches and get out in these streets and advance Christ's agenda.. Be demonstrative to the masses that which is the commandment of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ - love one another. In today's world, we cannot show love sitting up in our churches with our hats and suits, we have to hit the bricks whether it's in our communities or on the world stage...

As to the argument that we should not be associating with other religions, that in and of itself is an interesting conversation. This is the part that feels to me like folk are reducing the issue down to spiritual gangbanging.... I prefer to think it's about relationship with God not Religion.

All I know is that you will not lose any portion of the light that burns inside you if you share it with the world... In fact it is that light that will attract the world to you so you can be a witness to the essence of God in Jesus Christ...

For me, the symbolism of joining the world in making a stance against genocide, tyranny and injustice is powerful to me. To do nothing says that we're so heavenly bound, we're no earthly good.





2 comments:

Anonymous said...

go to this link and check this out

http://www.gcmwatch.com/

greg j said...

yes, the article at gcmwatch was the impetus for this post...