Saturday, April 28, 2007

Is picking up trash the new gospel?

I just read some interesting articles in outreach.com's new magazine. Some I liked and some I didn't care for but it made me think. The article that I liked alot was one by Lee Strobel. I guess I like how he worded his thoughts in regards to the popular social outreach emphasis occurring in the evangelical church. For the most part I agree with it and I am excited about figuring out how our church and I can be more missional. On the other hand, does picking up trash in your neighborhood advance the good news and mission of Christ. I want to be environmentally friendly and do my part, but does anyone really believe the global warming hype? (click this article for another scientific response to the new religion, click here or the fact that cows are the real culprits according to the U.N., really... click here) Does it really mean your missional (new buzz word) because you open a soup kitchen. I suppose we could answer 'yes' and 'no.' Yes it is a good work & even important but the local boy scouts and average pagan could do the same thing so... I love the creativity and ideas in regards to 'good works' in ministering to the poor, but Jesus was just as concerned in their spiritual poverty. Balance is the key. Unless the mission is ultimately to compel, persuade and urge (as the Apostle Paul said I believe) people to come to the knowledge of Jesus Christ, then we are not much different than pretty much every 'good works' organization or religion on the face of the earth. I think we should preach the gospel with our actions but remember the why and the WORDS we use are just as important. The 'and if necessary use words' mantra has meaning and is cute but I'm pretty sure (correct me if I'm wrong) Jesus used words in pretty much all the good that He did and told us to proclaim and preach (meaning using vocabulary) the good news! I want to be missional in deed and word. Check out the link and see what you think... click here for the article