Jesus Liked “Crapholes”

I would merely challenge each of us to look through the eyes of eternity and ask precisely whose environment is worse.

So many important and influential people have shared their thoughts on President Trump’s recent comments about the oppressed and undeveloped countries of the world. I will defer to them to handle the politics of his remarks.

But me personally? When I read them, my mind immediately gravitated to this: isn’t it amazing that in these (to use a slightly edited, PG version of Trump’s word choice) “craphole” countries, the church of Jesus Christ is thriving and growing exponentially?

In Latin America, Africa, and Asia, the explosive growth of Christ's church dwarfs that of the West.

To me it stands as yet another indication of the paradoxical truth of Christianity. Jesus, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords came into a craphole to save those willing to accept His gift.

Rejected by the elites, the proud, the well fed, His message found fertile soil among the impoverished, the lonely, the displaced…then and now.

I would merely challenge each of us to look through the eyes of eternity and ask precisely whose environment is worse: the wealthy land filled with pride and sinful excess, or the craphole burning with the light of the Gospel?

Jesus was right: the last will really be first.

Well, I don't see many of us leaving the developed world to go "enjoy" the "fruits" of these "Crapholes". You have children and what few would go drop to near zero. The problem of dealing with the eternal vs the secular is a battle we seem to prefer. And one might also observe that Muhammadism is also growing like a weed in many of these same areas.

The whole earth is a craphole– spiritually speaking. That said, the U.S. is perhaps the biggest spiritual craphole on the planet. We may have air-conditioning and sewers, but is there any place on earth that creates more evil than we do? What third world country creates more pornography, violence, blasphemy, heresy than we do?

It's been my privilege to travel to almost 80 countries around the globe. As Shakespeare once wrote (in more eloquent words), education is never complete until we've traveled. Then we begin to understand that other cultures, other perspectives, and other ideas are just as valid as our own (a wonderful cure for national and personal arrogance). The wonderful thing about the Body of Christ is that, even though it may grow in different soils, it thrives because we worship the same Lord.

I mention this because, from my experience, the church right now is thriving in other countries much more than here in America - and I would suggest this is because of our arrogance. We throw occasional scraps to fellow believers living in "crap-holes" but from a perceived position of power. We don't really try to understand their plight, their needs, and their perspective; instead, we assume our culture and country is so much better. That's not how Jesus approaches the world. Instead, he seeks out his people right where they are. As a result, there are more Christians today in China that there are people living in the UK and BeNeLux countries combined. The church in Latin America, in Africa, and in parts of the Middle East. These are now the principal Christian nations; we lost that mantle decades ago.

As a country, we fell into the sin of Sodom (not what evangelical culture claims it to be): "She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy." This has become painfully clear over the last year; sadly, I have to say it's been true of the church for years. Do we come alongside our brothers and sisters in Christ to help them? Do we give until it hurts, so, as Paul wrote, "there might be equality" (so important, he wrote this twice)? No. We're too embroiled in politics and patriotism and have lost sight of Jesus' teaching.

This will sound controversial, but I don't understand why we as Christians even recognize national boundaries (other than to meet our obligation to give to Caesar what is Caesar's). Patriotism is patting ourselves on the back and subtly looking down on others. Is this a Christian attitude? The Bible is full of commands to treat the stranger and the immigrant and the needy among us as if they were born here. We're to treat those living in "crap-holes" exactly the same way as we would our next-door neighbor living in terrible need - otherwise we are ignoring the Savior's command to love others (even our enemies) as ourselves. Why do we accept the dictates of society instead of the gospel message?

In God's sight, no nation is special. Why would God even consider national boundaries or cultures? His church is universal, and he is intent on helping his most needy children. We're supposed to be doing that with all our hearts, souls, minds, and resources, but in our arrogance we choose not to. What's the result? Jesus looks more to the "crap-holes" of the world than to us, because we have chosen to ignore his calling. Shame on us for failing to meet our responsibilities before God and, instead, being tempted by the allure of power, wealth, and national and personal pride.

My apologies if my words upset anyone. My suggestion, though, is that we look more and more to Jesus' teaching and less and less to the expectations of our culture. As the author writes, "Jesus liked 'crap-holes'", and he still does.The only people Jesus criticized were his own, those who enjoyed privilege and power and believed they were God's chosen ones - better than the rest of the world. No, we are not better. We're sinners, redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, and we're called to love especially those who live in "crap-holes."

Interesting how a crude and scatalogical (though accurate) reference to the living conditions in some countries has erupted into either wild-eyed screeches of RACISM !!! or ponderous pontificating on what Jesus would have said/done/meant. The reaction I have not see is an effort to analyze just what it is about these countries that makes them s**tholes. Haiti and the Dominican Republic are on the same small Caribbean island, yet while the DR has a functioning society and its people live in decent living conditions, Haiti is a cesspool of violence, filth and poverty. Certainly the living conditions in Haiti are not the result of an unfortunate geographical location or climate. In much the same thought process we can look at the living conditions in the United States and Mexico. Mexico has lavish natural resources, including a wonderful climate, gold and oil, yet it is poverty-stricken and hostage to violent gangs and millions of its people risk death to illegally migrate to the United States. It always comes back to government, and that analysis always comes back to tyrannical governments. All the rest of the noise about Trump's comment is just that---noise.

I missed something, the last day or two. did Trump really say the words like Durbin and Graham allege? And is this going to get all the attention is does not deserve, forever? There is one thing that Trump is doing that I'm sure the author is just not going to allow: He is killing political correctness, something that really needs to die. Many may not like his choice of words, even if they weren't said, but alleged, but I'll wager that many wish they were the ones who said them.