Tilting at windmills – It’s a sardonic image that portrays one of literature’s most well know characters as jousting with windmills. When Don Quixote is pictured as tilting or jousting with windmills it is meant by Cervantes to cause the reader to question his mental stability. I wonder if the church has taken up the practice?
In the last many years I have found conversations about and around the church to be moving away from the core functions of a church. We talk about politics and blame and the politics of blame. We wade into science, food and the politics of science and food. We seem to be distracted from Biblical impressions of things and attracted to what might be done or thought in political speech.
I do not want to deny the importance of political involvement or even the need for reform among political entities the world over.
However, are these our core functions, “our business”?
God has called the church into existence to represent Him on the earth. Now we ought to all stop and let that sink in a minute.
Are His main goals national? Are His primary means political? Within a few hours after the horrible shooting in Dayton Ohio, a pastor of a church near the incident reminded us that our primary battle is against evil. He pointed to Ephesians 6:12, “We battle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers, against rulers of darkness in high places…”
The pastor imagined if the church had found the perpetrator before he attacked the crowds near the church and been able to point him to Jesus. Could the church have prevented this? And the thing most pointed from this man in the midst of such pain was the declaration, “The church can’t afford to lose its focus now.”
Yes, we should vote our conscious, yes we should get involved in helping our fellow man caught up in political chess matches, and yes, we should be the best citizen in any country. God told Israel to help Babylon while they were in captivity, Jesus said the occupied nation of Israel should render to Caesar what was Caesar’s; but our role is bigger than this.
We need to keep our eye on the ball! We are here to change hearts and by doing so change the world. We are here to convert politically powerful people so they will work ethically, we are called to bring Jesus to our neighborhood and raise the hope that His values bring to people in need. We must do socially just things, but our calling is transformation.
We are here to change the world not just patch it up. Love your neighbor and give them Jesus. Write your politician and point them to Jesus. Live like Jesus in a broken world. Most everything else is tilting at windmills.
The local church is the hope of the world!