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A Wakeup Call to American Christianity

“A man was walking through the woods in springtime.1 The air was thrilling and throbbing with the passion of little hearts, with the love-wooing, the parent pride, and the deadly fear of the birds. But the man never noticed that there was a bird in the woods. He was a botanist and was looking for plants.

A man was walking through the streets of a city, pondering the problems of wealth and national well-being. He saw a child sitting on the curbstone and crying. He met children at play. He saw a young mother with her child and an old man with his grandchild. But it never occurred to him that little children are the foundation of society, a chief motive power in economic effort, the most influential teachers, the source of the purest pleasures, the embodiment of form and color and grace. The man had never had a child and his eyes were not opened.

A man read through the New Testament. He felt no vibration of social hope in the preaching of John the Baptist and in the shouts of the crowd when Jesus entered Jerusalem. He caught no revolutionary note in the Book of Revelation. The social movement had not yet reached him. Jesus knew human nature when he reiterated: “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.”’

Rauschenbusch, Walter (2009-10-13). Christianity and the Social Crisis in the 21st Century (Kindle Locations 914-919). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

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