As I reflect back on Memorial Day I am reminded yet again on the very odd experience of the church in America. I wonder what the early church would think of her spiritual descendants in the faith living wealthy and comfortable lives and spending a day memorializing the sending of soldiers to kill and die to keep us wealthy and comfortable? I am pretty sure they wouldn't applaud us for where we are and more likely would send us epistles warning us against the love of money and being unequally yoked.
In general the church residing in America sees ourselves as "blessed" because we live lives free of any real persecution and our wealth and influence is the envy (or so we suppose) of the church in the rest of the world. Whether in the barren religious wasteland of Europe where a church-state partnership failed so dramatically or in hostile countries where the church is actively persecuted, we presume that the rest of the church gazes longingly at the church in America with envy. But you simply can't read the New Testament and come away thinking that wealth is pretty much always seen as a probable stumbling block and humility and contentment are consistently seen as blessings and desirable traits. So should we really be cheering on those we send to violate the commands of Christ so that we don't have to in order for us to maintain a life that the Bible at a minimum warns us to be very leery of and often is outright condemned by Christ and His disciples? I am thinking no.
We need to start thinking more carefully about what we are considering blessings and where we direct our desires for others to be blessed because I think we are confusing what the world considers to be blessings with what Scripture teaches us are real blessings.