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The predicament of the American church is that we live in a kind of Magic Kingdom. Like going to Disneyland, you buy your ticket, and once you are inside the gates, everything you experience is controlled. The rides, the food, the shows are all there to entertain and amuse you. All you have to do is be there and observe.

Yet just beyond the walls of Disneyland is Anaheim and the rest of Los Angeles, including the streets of Compton. This is the real world with real problems: pollution and congestion, drugs and violence, islands of upscale neighborhoods surrounded by slums. Inside the Magic Kingdom, the outside world is almost inconceivable.

As Christians, we too are tempted to see our world that way. We can start thinking that our job is to invite a few fortunate others into the theme park, away from the troubles outside. But our job is not to increase the attendance at Disneyland; it’s to tear down the walls and transform the world outside.

Richard Stearns
World Vision

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