Pastor's Blog

I don’t know how it is in the rest of the world, but in our country, I don’t believe you’re going to see people want to become Christians merely based on the gospel message itself.  People are going to have to have a positive connection with the messengers first.

That’s you and me – and our church.

The old mentality narrowed everything to the presentation of “the magic words” – giving people Bible verses and theology.  But that was in a day when the Christian message (and religion in general) was respected by the culture as a positive thing.

That is no longer the case.  So, we’re trying to win people to ourselves, the messengers, first.

Because Jesus is Lord of all and because faith is not merely what we do in church but how we live life, every avenue of life becomes an avenue of connection with those that don’t believe.

That’s why I’m perfectly fine with our church sponsoring events that have no theological import at all – events that may do little more than create an opportunity to connect with people.

That’s why we had an Easter egg hunt. 
It’s why we did a Trunk or Treat.
It’s why we have volleyball on Friday nights. 
It’s why a home school co-op meets in our building.
It’s why we are a voting precinct.
It’s why we have local sports organizations for kids use our gym and ballfield.
It’s why we sponsor blood drives.
We do good because doing good is good.  But doing good is also a way of establishing trust with the general public.  If people don’t have a good opinion of the messenger, they’ll have a hard time accepting the messenger’s message.

One of the criticisms I’ve gotten from older folks is that this is “the social gospel”.  I understand the criticism but it’s not on-target.  The social gospel was the movement in the early 20th century that said the problem in the world is not individual sinners, but a corrupt society – and the solution to the problem is not the salvation of individual souls, but the fixing of our societal institutions.

I completely agree that the social gospel misses the mark.
Our efforts to do good things in the world are not designed to save the world, but to draw people to the message of Jesus that changes hearts one at a time.  That's not the social gospel.  That's a first step toward the saving message of Jesus Christ.

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