15 July 2013

Activist Faith by Burroughs, Darling and King

I have long been moved, almost haunted by the words of James:

Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world. James 1:27 The Message

How can I claim to be a disciple of Christ and shut my ears to His call?

In their new book Activist Faith, From Him and For Him, Dillon Burroughs, Daniel Darling, and Dan King tackle the tough issues of our time:

Human Trafficking; Immigration; Poverty; Environmentalism; Disaster Relief; Homelessness; Defending the Unborn; War, Terror and Genocide; Religious Freedom; Parenthood and Sexuality: Crime and Urban Decay; the Orphan Crisis.

Using quotes as varied as the Word of God, modern theologians and others, the words hit the mark and convict the spirit.  For example:
Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not. —Dr. Seuss
All three authors share stories of people they have met and lives that have been changed, including their own. I wept through Dan King's telling of a mother in Kenya:
My biggest question is the same for everyone we meet: “How has the opportunity to run this business with the support of the micro-loans affected you and your family personally?” 
She responds simply, “Now I have some extra money to buy things for my kids.” She has three young children under the age of ten. 
This is a response that I can really relate to! I have a six-year-old son at home. As his dad, I love having a little extra money from time to time so I can buy something special for him, such as a handheld gaming system. But I don’t see many kids around there playing on their handheld gaming systems. In most parts of Kenya, the term “handheld gaming system” usually means “a stick.” Some of the more fortunate kids I see get to play with an old flat soccer ball.
So I ask her, “What kinds of things do you buy for your kids?” She shrugs a little bit and responds, “You know, meat and bread.” 
For the first time ever in my life, I am utterly speechless. Here I am thinking of all the luxuries I’m going to shower my son with when I return home, and she just told me that all of her hard work provided her the luxury of buying her kids food!
Activist Faith does much more than remind us of what God desires. The authors provide examples, resources and effective steps to take with sections in each chapter: How You Can Help;Think It Through; Helpful Tools and Resources - for Research and for Action.

I pray that this book changes each and every one of us.  May these ending words burn deep in our spirits:
As you pray for guidance, consider that Jesus might answer, “I’ve changed you so you can live out your faith where you currently live, work, and study. Begin right now.” Okay, so Jesus did not exactly say it like this in the Gospels, but it’s accurate realistic paraphrase. You might not like your job, your major, or your place in life at the moment. God might have some big plans for you in another part of the world someday. Until then, start where you are. That’s where He’s placed you for the moment. Live with Activist Faith.
Activist Faith isn't just a book, it is a way of life.  Be sure to check out the website which is intended to be an ongoing resource to support the movement.

I was privileged to receive an advanced reader copy of this important work by Navpress.  The opinions I have expressed are my own.