This morning, I woke up to read that Lawrence Phillips, former St. Louis Rams and Nebraska Cornhusker was dead in prison. I loved to watch him play the game but he, like many, have a life away from the game that is completely out of control.
The problem is when we read about this cases, we do not ask the right question: where has the church fail to fulfill its’ mission to people like him? When people are out of control and destroying their lives; it means they never had contact with the gospel or they completely hated having hope. I tend to believe the former than the latter.
In my boxing days, I can tell you stories after stories of people who had lifestyles that was out of control. These are men who alot of opportunities that have trash them by their own behaviors. When I look at Lawrence Phillips; I see these guys I use to train with as well.
Lawrence Phillips was failed by the Church
Jesus told to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. If we take that serious, we must also bear the blame for stories like this. We were not being salt (gospel) and light (loving people) or the world would not be completely out of control.
I remember a bible study that I happen to be in Saint Joseph, Missouri. The pastor of the Assemblies of God there asked me point blank why young people do not come to his church. My response was because he was too busy blaming young people for what is happening in America. He did not want young people in the church; he wanted his church like it was in the 1950’s. After a very heated “discussion” in front of his church members (also pushing 80), I walked away and have no idea if it was impactful or not.
The problem with Pentecostals is they wait until someone’s life is completely out of control before they want to be the salt and light the believers are called to be. We should not wait until the kids need to go to Teen Challenge to care. Don’t forget, Elvis Presley sit in a Pentecostal Church most of his youth. Somewhere we failed him in a big way.
What we have now is Lawrence Phillips, a few dead people, a wasted life, and a broken christian community.
Will it ever change?
No one will never know but I hope at some point, the American church will get its act together. If Brownsville Revival couldn’t do it with Toronto Blessing happening at the same time; I am not sure it can be done. Sometimes, I just wonder why God doesn’t hit the Ctrl + Alt + Del on Christianity in America. We have much more stories of failures than successes.
In the end, I do not just grief for the passing of Lawrence Phillips; I also grieve because there will be more like him and the American church will remain in its apathetic state. We are happy with people going to hell as long as we can have church every Sunday morning and keep getting our guy in the Senate.
Sad, isn’t it?