Editor's Note: This past week, WORLD editor in chief Marvin Olasky hosted a group of mid-career WORLD readers for a series of intense journalism training sessions in Asheville, N.C. One of their assignments was to analyze aspects of the Occupy Wall Street movement, and here is one of those commentaries.
Evangelicals are conspicuously absent from Occupy Wall Street and its offshoots. Why aren't more believers there to reach out not politically but pastorally with the truth of the Gospel?
Evangelicals should be there because Christ would be there. Jesus did not support the politics of the Zealots, yet he chose Simon as one of the Twelve. He opposed sexual immorality in any form but freely and openly associated with prostitutes and worse. He taught against theft but publicly sought out a notorious embezzler and befriended him.
Occupy Wall Street is an opportunity, and a fleeting one. Some understand this. The Episcopal priest who travels to different sites to pray with protestors gets it. The Jewish layman in Boston who coordinates religious services for the protests gets it. The New York imam, who sees his involvement as a duty, gets it and observes, "If Moses or Jesus or Mohammed were alive in this day and time they'd be out there guiding and inspiring and teaching these young people."
By its absence much of the evangelical church seems not to get it. Yet the church is entrusted with the only answer that could change the lives of protestors individually and the movement as a whole: Salvation comes from Jesus, not government.
The best advice for evangelicals is to get it while the getting is good. The Great Commission is to go, not to wait for nobler occasions or more likable people. Scripture leaves little room for no-shows.
Why isn't there more of a ministerial presence?
The Associated Press contributed to this report.