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).