But I heard this one last night at Ash Wednesday services, and it completely sums up the way I have been feeling about the failure of the monolith of modern American Christianity to do practically any of these things... we are called to be so much more than what we are at present, and we are instead being a stumbling block; judging everyone else, lacking compassion, more concerned with protecting our religious and political rights than being a blessing and loving others who need our help...
2 Corinthians 5:20, 6:3-10 (NIV)
We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.
We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited. Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.
I know there are exceptions; there always are. Plenty of missions are doing just what we've been called to do; like Magdalene House/Thistle Farms, or Room in the Inn - but these are the exception, not the rule. It may be that we must lose everything before we can become what we were intended.