“My point of view is NOT my opinion, it’s the place from which I see things.”
Norman Cousins was an American political journalist, an author, a professor and a well-respected outspoken proponent for world peace. While Mr. Cousins did not identify himself as a Christian, he was not opposed to Christianity. As a matter of fact his world views were well regarded within the faith community. In 1981, Mr. Cousins wrote a book titled Human Options: An Autobiographical Notebook.
Here is a quote from the book as Cousins explains an attitude of the church as he sees it: “Never before have there been so many churches and temples; never before has the institution of man been in greater jeopardy. Christianity has not truly involved itself in the human situation. It has become strangely adjacent to the crisis of man, seemingly content with trying to create a moral and spiritual atmosphere instead of becoming a towering and dominant force in the shaping of a world congenial to man. It has become one of the values we fight for instead of a force in itself. It is not regarded as the working source of wisdom and strength for conscience. It has yet to become supremely pertinent and supremely effective in safeguarding the commonwealth of man at a time of peril so profound as to be incomprehensible to the rational intelligence alone.”
While that is certainly a mouthful, let me see if I can put some understanding to it, from my point of view. Cousins seems to be criticizing the church for turning ourselves into an institution existing for the perpetuation of itself. I believe that he is saying that there is no value to a church that spends time congratulating itself for the work it does and for the defensive posture it takes toward the nature of man, and for standing alongside that man rather than reaching out to the hurting world as Jesus would have done. The church seems to placate those who oppose the word of God rather than striking out against their opposition by use of the mighty sword of Jesus, the very word of God.
If we are to actually show a kindness to another, we must be willing to become involved in the lives of others. We must be willing to express the agape love of Christ by the actions of our hands and feet. We must get down off of our soapbox and get our hands dirty.