Monday, March 14, 2011
The Church-Where Heroes Need Protection
We are ones we have been waiting for…
Many of us today are asking, "where are the MLKs, the Mandelas. . . where are the Lincolns and Wilberforces?"
As we look at the world, we feel overwhelmed and powerless to change the atrocities and injustices that occur on a daily basis.
We wait impatiently for God to raise up prophets to confront the host empires and, because we find none, and things stay the same, we turn cynical.
Cynicism, it seems, is a method by which we criticize these atrocities from afar, without taking any action. We feel somewhat vindicated by the "good" we have done in the world by merely acknowledging "there is a problem", only to retreat to our affluent middle class worlds. Even after retreating, however, we are never fully impacted by the human rights violations that occur in other countries. Our cynicism manifests itself in apathy--we want to see change, but have lost hope in our ability to make those changes.
We have a time line for solving the world's problems and God is taking way too long. Science and the innate goodness of humans have failed to deliver evil from the systems that enslave us.
We seek a prophet. I know a man.
I know a man who has not yet fell victim to cynicism. He has has not yet retreated into a spiritual bubble, waiting for Jesus to come and judge all those bad people out there and their corrupt systems.
This man is Uon Selia.
Seila has built a movement of spiritual and social change among thousands of youth in Cambodia. He is a person of faith and conscience, taking his his commissioning as a prophet seriously, but accompanied by the virtue of humility. Seila believes that the world can be changed, especially through the young people of this generation--full of faith and hope. These young leaders, have the genuine belief that they can no longer wait--they are the only avenue for change.
He has created incarnational disciples among young Cambodians who have become human rights activists, orphanage directors, community organizers, and pastors working in slums and in prisons. Seila dares to dream big, seeing the youth become leaders in all aspects of society, rectifying the evils that have plagued Cambodia for decades.
While many have chosen to use the ministry as a stepping stone to fame, power and wealth, he has not succumbed to any form of nepotism, honor seeking, and the desire to accumulate material wealth that his peers have. He is planting potent seeds that are germinating in the social soil of Cambodia, and he’s weaving Kingdom strands into the social fabric of the culture.
Prophets are among the first insiders to be marginalized by the church. They challenge the status quo when most pastors want to be left alone to their preaching and teaching, not getting their hands dirty in muck and mire of social injustices. Like most prophets, Seila won’t come through his prophetic ministry unscathed. Bill Bright said, “I’m a Great Commission man myself, and the Great Commission tells us to teach to others about all things Jesus teaches us, and he taught us that a big part of the gospel is caring for the poor.” Seila is a Great Commission man. Seila is this nation's prophet.
Today Seila is in a tough spiritual battle. I invite you to pray for him in terms of wisdom and strength in the coming days. Pray that he will be as wise a serpent and gentle as a dove.