Do Christians strain out gnats and swallow camels? So asks this article that I read this morning. As Jesus lambastes the Pharisees, “…you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters…”
Of course, the answer is yes and no, both today and in history. My immediate thought is more to the “yes”, because of recent things I’ve heard–how a friend had to block the Christian guy on the dating site she was trying, and go out with the non-Christian; how my son has been so often “attacked” by Christians on the internet… But the author reminds us of some of the good things Christians have done, like playing a role “in every area of human flourishing: the creation of universities, hospitals and orphanages; the development of modern science and medicine; prison reform and the abolition of slavery; legal rights and protection of women, children and the disenfranchised.”
And “as Glenn Stanton observes”:
Look at the inner city in any decent size town. Find the soup kitchens, the hospitals, the substance recovery efforts, housing the homeless and so forth in any city. More than 90 per cent of the time, you will find these being founded and run by some arm of the Christian Church. . . . If the Church stopped doing all it does for the “least of these” tomorrow morning, the remarkable substance of that work would become tragically obvious within 24 hours and the State would crumble under the weight of needing to fill the void.
As much as we try to be gracious in our answer to the culture, people will be upset no matter what. “But failure to warn them of their dire spiritual condition is not love. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.”
As Jesus says in the very same reference used above (Matthew 23:23-24), “These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.”