Monday, September 28, 2009
Now, before I go any farther, this does not mean I am not sympathetic to people in tough times. It's real, it hurts, it's hard. As Christians we are indeed to reach out to people in need, any need.
But to view a crisis as an opportunity to somehow 'build the church and spread the gospel' is just wrong. For one thing it is just flat out selfish. Someone else's pain is simply - their pain. We are not in this for any other reason than to offer comfort. It's not about the church, it's not about our need to minister, it's about them, their pain, and how we can help them. The idea of using a crisis like this to build the church makes ambulance chasing lawyers look downright humanitarian.
Secondly, how much of a commitment to the church is built by a crisis outreach anyway? Once the crisis is resolved, what is left as a connection? Which brings me to the real point.
Our need for Jesus Christ is not circumstantial. I do not need Jesus more in bad times than in good. I mean everybody has preached that sermon at some point in their life. So why would we want to "take advantage" of an unfortunate situation?
I know way too many people in my life that come to Christ "for a season." Such pains me,but as much as their misdirected soul pains me, the error of those that brought them for the season pains me. Do we really have so little understanding of what we have to offer that we have to resort to misdirection and bait-and-switch? What kind of good news is that? Those are techniques you use to sell something that is not actually differentiated from the competition.
The gospel of Jesus Christ is not in a competitive marketplace. It is a product so superior to any pretender to competition, that were it not for the humility of the cross, arrogance would be the only possible response.
I am sick of people acting like what we have to offer is "just an alternative."