Thursday, November 8, 2007
Rob Bell on social action...
Are we doing too much social action and forgotten about evangelism?
I think that sort of question comes from a person who is in exile. It's the kind of questions you are left with when you have missed Gods purposes in the world. Bill Gates is giving millions and millions of dollars aid in Africa, and billions of dollars to great causes around the world, because the church didn?t beat him to it.
We are always telling people about Jesus. We are telling people about Jesus with our actions and we are telling people about Jesus with our inaction. So we are always evangelising. We are always announcing who Jesus is. We are always communicating with everything we do whether we believe that the tomb is empty or not.
Resurrection is a whole way of life and the term evangelism can be very destructive, because it gives people the idea that we are supposed to be doing this "thing" over here. If you are a grandma and I meet you in the street, it won't be long and you would have whipped out the latest photos of the grand kids. This is because you naturally and instinctively tell people what you love. If you love golf, I will know. If you are trusting in Jesus more and more each day, then your relationship with Jesus, you walk with Christ, what you see Jesus doing in the world, you will naturally witness to this, how could you stay silent.
So when people say, "what are you doing for evangelism training"? We are introducing people to Jesus. What has happened is that churches have given people actions. There are the three questions you have to ask or there's four points on this pamphlet, to do something that is supposed to be the most natural, free-flowing, I can't not tell you my story. I also think that this isn't a pendulum. The Kingdom of God is not a left or a right. The Kingdom of God is not liberal or conservative. We are conditioned to think in dualities. Is that liberal or conservative? Is that Post-Modern or Modern? Is that emerging or non-emerging? We are conditioned to think in this way.
The Kingdom of God is truth and life. So the Kingdom of God plunders anyone's agenda for good and true. So some people say that sounds like a such and such cause. If it is true it belongs to God. So when people say you are taking care of the poor, what about Jesus. If you start studying the bible you may neglect the injustices of the world. The Kingdom of God is anywhere that the rule and reign of God is expanding on earth.
At Mars Hill we are not reacting we are embracing the fullness of the Kingdom. We are saying that word and deed are all expressions. So whether you are having coffee with someone telling them that on the cross you believe that God was reconciling all things on heaven and earth and you look across the table and you say "I believe that means you too" or you are somewhere with you sleeves rolled up caring for people across the spectrum to build this house or to bring water to these folks it is all what it means to live in the fullness of the Kingdom.