Thursday, March 24, 2005

What Is the Gospel II

Gil is right. The Gospel, the Good News, is not that God doesn't want us to live like this anymore. The Good News is that He has provided a path for us to leave this selfish live and move toward a holy community (see Revelation 21).

I agree with Gil's three steps. I think the emerging church isn't necessarily emerging, rather they long to emerge. They refuse to just settle for being self-righteous or guilt-ridden. They want to be fruitful and productive for God and to expand His Kingdom in a way that people aren't "Just forgiven" but are truly different.

Gil said, "What kind of revolution will be a catalyst for revival, renewal, and restoration within the body of Christ in America? I think it will have to go beyond the lines of liberal or conservative."

I think America has to stop thinking about America. We have to come to some grips that we freed Iraq (which I mostly think is a good thing) because we want stability in the oil regions. We have not freed North Korea because they don't have anything we really want. I don't think the church has even come close to the responsibility we bear for restoring the Black race that was torn apart by slavery. I think we are economically addicted and so we will shop at Wal-Mart (including me) when it is likely one of the quickest ways for us to send our economy into the toilet, but I want a cheap DVD player. The only argument I've heard for allowing illegal immigrants in the country is because they work for next to nothing (last night's ABC news) and we can't find enough American workers to work that cheap. In other words, we wouldn't make as much money if we didn't let them do the work. The American Church is against so much. They need to be for something.

The question I would also ask is Restoration to what? Was the church against the way we treated the Native Americans? Was the church against slavery? Was the church for Civil Rights? At what point did the American Church peak? In my eyes, the church universal has almost always been some sort of mess (1 Corinthians, Jesus rebuke of the churches in Revelation, catholic abuses, crusades, not standing up to Nazism in Germany, not standing against genocide in Rwanda or Croatia).

If our concern is the revitalization of the American church instead of the expansion of the kingdom on a global basis, we have already lost the fight.

This is pretty rambling, might not fully make sense. I've been in a mood lately.

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