I hate tension…i know growth comes with tension…but i like harmony!
A while ago and a statement was made that set me off and I can’t get it out of my head. The statement was something like this…not a quote verbatumn…but this is what was said more or less.
“…We are almost becoming too humanitarian…we need to take people where they hear God’s word…service projects/mission trips are good but people need to hear the gospel…”
Well I was utterly annoyed. I still am. I know people make fun of and shun American Evangelicals because of statements like this; but it surprised me that it was in my circle of interaction. This mindset says that or at least comes across saying that the only thing that matters is telling people that Jesus died on the cross for your sins and if you don’t want to spend eternity in hell you need to say a prayer or walk the isle or attend a camp or whatever. (I did not grow up in a church that was like this…I think the church I grew up in is fantastic in many ways…all churches have their faults but they get it). The fact that Jesus lived to die for me has so much more grace and depth than that. THAT is what I want people to experience and love to love.
When you experience the depth, the grace, the love, the intentionality, the intricacy of that….you should know what James speaks of…that of a holistic faith. A holistic faith that not only teaches/proclaims redemption but also makes it their purpose in life to work hard for the purpose of the spreading of this redemption…and I think that can fall in areas of serving others (not just on mission trips), feeding the hungry, taking care of orphans and widows, and loving the least. And I am not sure we get it….I’m not sure I get it.
Sometimes it makes me embarrassed to tell people my profession because it often appears that the people that get it the most are outside of the church. It also makes me embarrassed to tell people that I went to a Baptist college and work at a Baptist church. It was for the first time that I experienced this tension when I entered the Baptist realm. I will say that OBU does an amazing job at teaching and creating an atmosphere where this attitude is shunned upon….they teach amazing principles! There is a book that I would urge everyone to read…“The Idea of a Christian College” by Arthur Holmes. Although he speaks of a University experience it is applicable to all areas of life.
BUT again, I need to take the plank out of my own eye and just stick as close to the word by reading it, meditating on it and letting it soak into every bit of who I am.