Helping people is complicated. It is always complicated, and becomes only increasingly so, when you are attempting to cross cultures. Now obviously there is a big difference between complicated and impossible. And as believers, we have tremendous advantages as we go to help people, in that we have a Word that transcends cultures, a God who is not bound by our culture, and the Spirit who speaks to people in all sorts of different cultures. But, we are going to have a difficult time really benefiting from those advantages, if we don’t at least acknowledge, that helping people cross culturally is complicated. In … Continue reading On Helping without Being a Fool
Missions is changing. At least, that is what some people say. And there’s no question, they have a point. There seem to be more and more people who are sent out to live in foreign countries with less and less of a concern for proclaiming the gospel and establishing and strengthening biblical local churches. Now, we don’t want to exaggerate the problem. Because there are many godly missionaries out there who are steadily plodding away to advance the cause of Christ in this world. And there have always been missionaries who didn’t fulfill their calling as well as they should. But, still it’s … Continue reading Losing Sight of Forever
Sometimes when people talk about the responsibility of church leaders to help the church care for the poor, they think what’s being said is that church leaders have the responsibility to organize institutional strategies and programs for the church to reach out to the poor in their community. I don’t think however that is necessarily true. I know it is not true at least for me. It should be obvious. But if a church as an institution never has a feeding program or clothing distribution center or an orphanage, it still can be a church. Now, if the church as … Continue reading Thinking Out Loud about the Church and Mercy Ministry
It is nice to consider the needs of the poor, I am sure, but is it biblical? As a human, obviously, I should care about people made in the image of God, but do I have any special responsibilities as a Christian? Or, I suppose, a better way to ask it, is it actually a biblically important priority? I am not intending to answer that question here. But I did think I could to point to a particular passage that needs to be considered. At least, that I need to consider. Galatians 2:10. Here Paul tells of his meeting with James and Peter … Continue reading Exegetical Matters: Galatians, ‘Only Remember the Poor.’
Is the responsibility to proclaim the message of salvation and to care for those with deep social problems necessarily in competition with one another? It is possible for the two to compete, I suppose. But do they have to? Should we simply write off anyone who talks about the advantaged disadvantaging themselves for the sake of the disadvantaged as speaking postmodern gibberish? In this series of posts, we are looking to great leaders of the past to see if this is necessarily so. Today, we are looking at Andrew Reed. Though Andrew Reed’s name is not as well known as Charles … Continue reading Lessons from History part two: Andrew Reed, ‘While Christianity Lives, Charity Cannot Die.’
Is the emphasis on social justice among current evangelicals really something new? The question here is not whether it is right. Instead the question is whether, historically speaking, it is really all that new. In their book, The New Evangelical Social Engagement, Brian Steensland and Phillip Goff seem to question that. “Today’s new evangelicals are but the most recent iteration of evangelicalism’s long-standing tendency to spin off its own renewal movements. Recognizing this in no way minimizes the importance of what is happening in the contemporary moment. Today’s tumult and transformation are part of evangelicalism’s essence, and the new social engagement, many … Continue reading How new?
The way people sometimes speak and act, I wonder if there are only two options for church planters. Social gospel guys or preaching robots. Either they are someone who is trying to make the church a soup kitchen or they attack anything that moves. Can’t there a better way than this? There is. And it starts with this. If we say that we are passionate about the truth, we need to look long and hard at the one who is Truth, Jesus. We need to see the Creator becoming a servant on the very earth He created. We need to … Continue reading Can You Feel Me?
Dan Cruver: Scripture commands all Christians to love, forgive and welcome others, but it does not command all Christians to adopt. As a matter of fact, it doesn’t even require that some Christians adopt. What we can say with absolutely certainty, though, is that God the Father does expect those whom He adopts to visit orphans in their affliction (James 1:27, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans…”). My point is simply this: the Love that adopted us becomes a love in us that cares for orphans. As Christians, we should be … Continue reading The most orphan caring people on the planet…