Last night Anna and I went to see The Constant Gardener. I can't remember the last time I've been so moved by a film (actually I can - the first breath of Vader in Revenge of the Sith). At the end the whole cinema sat in silence, and as we walked back to the car it felt more like we'd heard a heart-slamming sermon than just watched a movie. It raised many thoughts about marriage - adultery, trust, protection, grief - and more about the state of the world we live in. It beggars belief that the west can so completely screw developing nations, and it's gutting to be told that as individuals there's really nothing we can do about it.
The Coffee Bible Club have been blogging about the Christian responsibility towards social action - haven't read it yet, but have read Good News To The Poor by Tim Chester. He raises some challenging points. What is frustrating about evangelical social action - and I include myself in this - is the hypocrisy of it. Why do we campaign against government when our rights as Christians are oppressed, but not for the needy? We are right to speak out for persecuted Christians across the world, but why are we silent in the cause for persecuted nations? Praise the Lord that the gospel is the answer, not only for spiritual needs but has social and political dimensions too. But can individuals really do nothing? If God's church is really the hope for the world then it seems we need to work harder at convincing the world this is true.
As we drove home Anna said that it was not only a good night at the cinema, but it felt worthwhile. We felt compelled to do something about it - at the moment we're just not sure what.