Stephen Colbert is the most popular talk show host on late-night television. He has discussed his Christian faith frequently over the years; I have written about the fact that he teaches Sunday school and attends mass regularly with his family.
Last Tuesday night, however, Colbert made an extremely obscene gesture as he was ridiculing the Republicans’ failure to pass health care reform. Last May he made headlines with another sexual obscenity as he lambasted President Trump.
How does his lewd behavior reflect on his faith?
A Christian in Israel is accused of stabbing his daughter to death because she was dating a Muslim. A report released Tuesday claims that at least 547 members of a prestigious Catholic boys’ choir in Germany were physically or sexually abused between 1945 and 1992.
Meanwhile, books condoning marital rape were found in an Islamic high school library in England. Three Muslims shot and killed two Israeli officers at the Temple Mount last Friday, triggering tensions that are continuing today.
When you read such stories about Muslims, how do they make you feel about Islam? When non-Christians read stories about the sins of Christians, that’s how they feel about our faith.
Now consider a story you might have missed: Betty Dukes died recently. You may not know her name, but the world’s largest retailer certainly does.
Betty grew up in Pittsburg, California. She did not graduate from high school, but she obtained her GED and made the honor roll and Dean’s List in college. She was also an ordained Baptist minister.
She is known primarily as the Walmart worker who led a class-action lawsuit accusing the company of discrimination against female employees. Her case was dismissed by the Supreme Court, but it helped draw national attention to the working conditions of lower-paid employees in large retail companies.
Her website also notes that “in the mid-1900s, Betty launched a one-woman campaign to remove adult books and videos from the view and reach of minors at a local grocery store in her neighborhood.” She often spoke to local news media and at school board meetings and community hospital board meetings.
Betty Dukes advised us, “Don’t let fear get under your feet, for it will carry you where you don’t want to go.” She clearly heeded her own admonition, and the world is better as a result.
You and I know that Christians aren’t perfect, just forgiven. We know that it’s unfair to judge the sinless Son of God by his sinful followers. But lost people disagree, especially when they are looking for reasons to justify their rejection of our faith.
Henry Blackaby: “What an incredible witness it is to a lost and fearful society when the Christian acts like a child of God, living under the loving sovereignty of the Heavenly Father.” To be such an “incredible witness,” I invite you to pray right now: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer” (Psalm 19:14).
Memorize these words. Pray them often. And you’ll be another Betty Dukes, to the glory of God.