“Resolution One: I will live for God. Resolution Two: If no one else does, I still will.” - Jonathan Edwards -

Sunday, March 04, 2007

The Politics of it all

This will be the final post in this series -- we have discussed many aspects of working with the dispossessed and the needy, but I wanted to cap this off with a final post regarding the church as a force for change in society.

How do we go from where we are today to once again being a force in our society? Some would say that we are a force, like never before in this country. I mean, look at the influence of Joel Osteen and Rick Warren -- does that not speak of the force of the church in the US? Sadly, not at all -- these men and many more like them are feeding the world what they want: a safe Jesus, effectively neutered from saying anything transformational -- He is no longer "the way, the truth and the life...", and He certainly would never say "No one comes to the Father except through me." Now, sad enough, Jesus has become another choice in our pantheon of choices in this society. We, (the church), have become another benevolence society -- a safe, nice, clean place -- but without any power at all!

You may say, "Ray, what does this have to do with the needy?" Much; you see, we may have 'societal' or 'political' clout with the world today, but we do not have GOSPEL clout. This is the clout that the needy require! Some pastors may have grandiose plans for curing AIDS, but without the transforming message of the gospel accompanying the cure, we have confined people to a far worse fate than wasting away with a terminal illness. For, in the end, we will all die, should the Lord tarry, and then comes judgment -- at that point, having a Purpose-Driven Activism will be superfluous.

We, the church, will never be able to navigate the storm-tossed waves of this world alone -- as Paul says -- Ephesians 4:11-14 ...he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.

As long as we depend upon ourselves, and as long as we have cowardly pastors, leaders and speakers who will not edify the saints, nor proclaim the Gospel, we may be a temporal force, providing momentary shifts in the doomed trajectory of this lost and dying world, but we will never be a true force for lasting, eternal change.

This incredible saving, transforming message which we have... in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. This message my friends, is what the dispossessed, the needy, and the poor need more than anything else that we may bring to the table!

3 comments:

Dave said...

Great post...great series! Can't wait for the next one.

Even So... said...

I'm right with ya' brother...

Ray said...

Thanks guys.. Still contemplating the next series...