Wednesday, November 10, 2010
What does this all mean?
The gospel message is the most important thing. Jesus Christ came to earth as a sinless human being. He was born of a woman but without Adam's seed. This was God's preordained plan from before creation to save man from the curse of death brought on by Adam's choice to follow his carnal instincts and disobey the Father. Jesus walked among us as a man and taught us what was important in the Kingdom of God. Then he was put to death as the spotless lamb to pay for the sins of the world. He was placed in a borrowed tomb, but he conquered death and appeared to many before ascending to dwell at the right hand of his Father in heaven. The Holy Spirit was then sent to be our guide and comforter until Jesus returns.
All those who accept what God did through Jesus, and ask Him to forgive their sins will be adopted as sons and may come to the father having been made righteous through Jesus. The Holy Spirit then indwells those who have been saved and helps them determine what God would have them do by illuminating the teachings of the Bible.
Christ did not heal all the sick, nor relieve all the suffering, nor did he change all the social institutions of his day that were in conflict with the life God would have us all to live. He presented the gospel message and taught how, one by one, God's kingdom could be realized here on earth. He befriended the disenfranchised and led them to belief and repentance and taught his disciples to do the same. We see the Kingdom as though we were looking through smoked glass, or a very poor mirror and will continue to do so until Jesus Christ returns to take us home to heaven. He taught those who were believers to act differently from the world and to pay attention to the things He taught were important. Jesus taught that we should follow His example first at home, then with neighbors, and then to the uttermost parts of the world.
We have followed this pattern in our bumbling fashion for a long time. We have nurtured individual relationships until the Holy Spirit gave us opportunity and then we shared the gospel message and let the Holy Spirit do his miraculous work. As God blessed us and gave us material resources and new technology, we expanded our mission across the world using missionaries who won the trust of those to whom they were sent and then presented the gospel.
Lately, there has been a move in many Christian circles to join with those who are now known as "progressives" to ignore worldly differences and partner with worldly partners to address global social injustice and effect social and environmental change. In some writings these who are willing to take this approach have been called "Progressive Christians."
God instructed us to be in the world, but to be separated from the world. I believe he intended us to feed and clothe the poor and hungry and then present them with the gospel. Jesus did not seek to change the social injustices of his day by political action against them, rather He sought to change the hearts and minds of believers (individuals) on both ends of the spectrum so that as they matured in Him the change would come about naturally.
The world has no real answers to the hard problems facing all of us. But they do see Christians as stumbling blocks to their secular humanist plans to re-engineer humanity and bring them to some state of Nirvana. So, in order to water down the Christian belief system they come into the flock wearing a sheep's clothing. Many of the things they do and say resonate with our Christian belief system and are appealing to us as a way to relieve suffering around the world. However, when you look at the money trail, and examine how the profits are distributed, very little money is leaving headed in the direction of the undereducated and under paid workers for which it was intended. The distribution of the funds raised after all the administrative costs are figured in is done through Co-Ops in third world countries. The only requirement for participation is signing an agreement saying you will distribute the funds in a fair and equitable manner. I can tell you from a life time of experience that just because they sign doesn't mean they'll carry through. Once the gullible benefactors leave, it is back to life as usual with those in charge getting the largest cut of the pie. When the distribution is left in the hands of Christian missionaries who are on location and can oversee the distribution, then more equitable results can be expected. And here is the most important consideration, the gospel is always combined with the relief efforts.
Go to the web sites of the denominational participants and read them carefully. Then click on the links offered for those partners up the line. My experience was that they were filled with the hollow jargon of the new world order replete with the symbols of Eastern mysticism. The non-Christian partners follow the pagan practice of worshiping the creation rather than the Creator God. While the denomination site had some scriptures included in some of its mission statements, it did not have the spreading of the gospel as a stated purpose anywhere. Those Partner sites beyond the first level had even less.
Be careful. Just because something sounds good and salves our earthly guilt, it doesn't necessarily mean it is God centered and in keeping with his instructions for us in spreading His gospel.
Remember too that the progressive movement only tolerates Christianity to legitimize the progressive message. It does support whole-heartedly the recognition and acceptance of aberrant sexual practices, abortion, radical environmental tactics, the ACLU, one world government, the removal of Christianity from all institutions in the United States and around the world, and secular humanism in all of its facets.
I am of the opinion that this is not what God would have us to do. His word tells me to keep myself separate from the world and its hollow offerings.