Elections of public servants is always a fun season for me, especially the Presidential elections. When else does everyone have a shared interest in politics enough to break the rules of talking about politics in public (even is most of the talk is disdain for the process or mocking a candidate's gaffe). The election cycle not only carries with it the gaffes but also the general platitudes to rally the base. These general stump speech comments range from "we need to change some things in Washington" to the story of how the candidate grew up in a working class home and is just an average person. These general statements not only bolster the base but also make those passive onlookers think, "you know I don't know much about that person but I like what they are saying right now."
General talk is popular which is what makes it seductive to Church leaders. For instance we often talk about the Church needs to change, be open to new ideas, embrace the youth and make the hard decisions. We do a lot of general talk but we are missing the call of the Church to be specific. It is the specific that is prophetic.
Reading the prophets in the Bible you will see they did not speak a lot in general terms. Nathan said to David, "You are the man that is stealing from the poor to profit yourself." Amos said to the wealthy women of his time, "You cows of Bashan!" Hosea told the people that they were "cheating on God by worshiping idols" Hosea said that people need to stop sacrificing and mercy.
So may we be a Church that speaks to the specifics as well as the general. When we talk about loving our neighbor (general) can we have the courage to say specifically how go about loving ISIS. When we talk about having Open Hearts, Open Minds and Open Doors (general) can we talk about how our hearts are closed to talking about racism; how our minds are shut to hear words like sin, angels or demons; how our door are closed to LGBTQ church leaders.
They say the devil is in the details. May the Church not fear the devil.