From Creation to Restoration

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We’re going to spend some more time this week on “The rest of the gospel” that I spoke to last week because it is critical to what differentiates the true gospel from this phenomenon we have come to know at least in America as a cultural/political faction masked as Christian. Being committed to the whole gospel is different than that, and it connects us with the concerns of the millennials. We’re talking about the whole gospel that begins with Creation and continues on through to Restoration. It’s the whole gospel about the whole person and when we care about the whole gospel for the whole person, we can connect with people on so many different levels.

It used to be we could only connect with non-Christians through surveys, crusades or the Four Spiritual Laws. Everything else had to remain superficial because “what fellowship hath light with darkness?” I cringe when I think of how stilted and awkward I felt growing up in an evangelical bubble that left us with no way to connect with people who weren’t Christians except to try to witness to them. But it was an error in our worldview that prevented us from entering into normal, natural relationships with people of other religions or no religion at all. We had no theology of loving and caring for the whole person. Nor did we have a theology of being sinners saved by grace like everybody else. Nor did we see people from Creation to Restoration.

It starts with Creation. God created the universe and the earth and the animals, and finally every person in His image, and He said it was all good, and, on top of that, He left us in charge of it. So for anyone to be a follower of Christ and not recoil at the stripping of the earth for oil, gas and minerals, or the polluting of the air for bigger business profits, or the draining of the Everglades for more housing, or the leveling of the rain forests for more farm land is a Christian who has no concern for God’s creation and no concern for the world we leave for our children.

And then there’s the mess at our southern borders. Regardless of your political bent, or whoever is making the decisions over who stays and who goes, at least some of us, as followers of Jesus, should be there with hearts of compassion towards people in God’s image, who, for whatever reason are being trapped and punished for the crime of trying to stay alive.

From Creation to Restoration — that’s our territory as representatives of the Kingdom of God. Where does your vocation and your concern fit into this continuum? It’s going to be there somewhere. From Creation to Restoration is a pretty wide swipe at life. There are a lot of places we can enter the discussion. So many ways to get involved. So many places to connect with people. Remember when we used to have to talk about the gospel only and force the conversation in that direction? Now we can start just abut anywhere and know that we ARE talking about the gospel because we are somewhere between Creation and Restoration it’s all connected.

So I read this Catch to Marti and she nodded her head all the way through it and then asked me at the end, what was it that I said? Not a good sign. Except that I like it anyway. So here’s what I going to do. I’m going to publish this and ask you to tell me what you think I said. I’m going to stick with this topic for the rest of the week so some feedback would be great anyway. You can either reply to the email (that will come to me privately) or use the comment link below (that will be public and others can comment on your comment).

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7 Responses to From Creation to Restoration

  1. Sandra Campbell says:

    I think what you’re saying is we can’t hide behind church or religion and think that’s the way we need to witness to people. We need to go out into the world and not be afraid to associate with those who don’t go to church or go to a different church. We might have to go places we thought we never would step foot into but if we need to go then do it!! For years I was part of a church that basically thought they were the only ones going to heaven and then my eyes were opened to the truth. Jesus told us to go into all the world and that’s what we need to do!!

  2. Gordon Starr says:

    From your examples in paragraph 3 it is clear that you are addressing problem or this topic as a left wing liberal. The examples you used in which you demonize the production of energy which has made everyone’s life on Earth easier and more fulfilling. It is clear in scripture that we are called to dress till and keep the earth and I agree with you in that we have not done a very good job of it. Why didn’t you use the examples of the pollution of our water ways, rivers, and oceans. What about the islands of plastic that are floating in the oceans? What about providing clean water for people in all the world? What about providing proper disposal facilities for human waste? Why don’t you highlight the air pollution in Beijing and Mexico City and in India? The whole global warming hysteria has caused us to ignore the problems that I listed and they are the ones that we can solve.

    Remember the mess at our southern border was caused by government. Congress was asked to pass legislation that would provide for humane and common sense immigration into our country. They choose to ignore this responsibility. In addition, politicians were using, in fact encouraging illegal immigration at our southern border. The Christians that I know will help anyone that needs help. We just prefer that they come into the USA legally. You refer to these people as people that are trying to stay alive. That is extreme don’t you think.

  3. John A Fagliano says:

    I think you said that the “what fellowship hath light with darkness?” verse is misused by those who are just afraid to connect with non-Christians because they might be a negative influence on their faith. That’s not what that verse means and it’s not fair to refer to all non-Christians as “darkness”. That doesn’t always apply.

    We’ve forgotten God put us in charge of this planet and taking care of it is our responsibility.
    The immigration controversy is no excuse for a lack of compassion. (and I’ll add myself, that neither is any other controversy)

    We are in the middle of a story that ends in restoration. We all wish we were already there but there is a reason why we are in the place we are now. Let’s let God lead us.

    Maybe Marti already knows all that.

  4. Sandie says:

    Cut everyone the same break that God has cut me. I received it freely, gladly; what gives any believer the right to hoard it. Kindness…boy do we need it.

  5. Rona Orme says:

    That we should remember we are stewards of creation and so we should live simply and lightly to protect the environment (and encourage others to do the same); that we love as we read in scripture that Jesus loved – with any faith stuff coming a long way second

  6. jwfisch says:

    Good comments all. My thoughts were not as well thought out as they could have been but you got the gist. Love the whole person; be committed to life on this planet from beginning to end. Thanks for helping this along.

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