Episcopalians from all over the region, including neighboring states, are expected to pour into the baseball park, but Ken Chumbley, pastor of Christ Episcopal Church in Springfield, pointed out that an outreach to other churches and denominations, as well as those who have no church affiliation, is intended to bring many more people to the event. Crazy enough to love like Jesus, to give like Jesus, to forgive like Jesus, to do justice, love mercy, walk humbly with God— like Jesus.
Crazy enough to dare to change the world from the nightmare it often is into something close to the dream that God dreams for it. And for those who would follow him, those who would be his disciples, those who would live as and be the people of the Way? It might come as a shock, but they are called to craziness.
David Kendrick, pastor of St. But Curry is taking his message further. In February, he held a similar event in Pittsburgh, and he will go on to Georgia and California later this year, and then to Honduras and even to a meeting with the Church of England in Who you decide Jesus Christ is must not be an idle intellectual exercise.
You cannot put Him on the shelf as a great moral teacher. That is not a valid option.
The evidence is clearly in favor of Jesus as Lord. Some people, however, reject this clear evidence because of the moral implications involved. Used with permission. When we put words to the hard parts of our stories, we can give those around us a new picture of who Jesus is. Every one of us has a purpose, and discovering yours will change your life.
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Paul says this message has universal appeal, for all people at all times.
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So get your eyes off yourself, get your eyes off your circumstances, get your eyes off the things the world offers, and think about the call of God to God, and to his heart, and to his heart for the world. So, in verses 10—19, we see how Paul lists these inspirations that serve as a guide for our call to missions: the fear of judgment, the love of Christ, our conviction of the universal truth of the message, our call to service.
This potent combination propels us out in missionary ministry to serve others.
But we also need to have the missionary call informed. A call to be a missionary must be informed by the gospel. That is, you understand that the work to be done in missionary service is the right proclamation of the gospel.
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And because the chief work of the missionary is the gospel, the way to evaluate all effort is a gospel ministry. Yet an amazing number of people that call themselves missionaries, and desire to be missionaries, never share the gospel. As noble as it is to attend to the sick and hungry — they are worthy endeavors — without the message of the gospel, it is not missionary work. But even those who desire to care for our neighbors as a right and good implication of the gospel which I affirm need to remember that the gospel, rightly proclaimed, does the best long-term good.
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Though modern academics use missionaries as punching bags, the mistakes of missions are largely anomalies, not the track record. Historically, wherever the gospel has gone, it has brought literacy and health, which secular historians rarely admit and often owe their very jobs to. I have seen this in my own experience. Missionary friends in Guatemala attempted to improve the living conditions of the Ixil people of the highlands.
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But it was not until the gospel changed hearts and brought revival that the Ixil people began to change the cultural difficulties that caused so many of the endemic problems of the communities: wife abuse, drunkenness, lack of education, even malnourishment. One of the greater, more hidden, dangers in the missions world today is that much current missionary teaching and practice is informed by mere pragmatism, rather than the Christian gospel.
For many, missions is seen as a pragmatic endeavor, a combination of the right strategy, language learning, cultural analysis, and cultural contextualization that will produce missionary success. His ways are bigger and better than ours.
I had a friend who recently attended a missionary gathering, and he said that there were many talks on mission trends, reports on missionary work, and one cultural analysis after another. But not one session or seminar about the gospel. Not one. The closest we came to talking about it was when we sang the few songs before each session.
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There was no room made to discuss it. I was left wondering, where is the gospel? To work here, we need to agree on, be motivated by, and be guided by the gospel if we want to be faithful to God and his missionary purpose. Do missionaries need to apply themselves to language learning and cultural sensitivity? Yes, of course. But we should never forget or underestimate the power of the gospel.
So, yes, we want to commend the gospel with works of service. Know it, live it, share it. Brothers and sisters, eat the gospel, breathe the gospel. Paul also says we must live in line with the gospel Galatians Make sure the gospel is a part of all you do. There have been times in my own life when I put my confidence in other things than the gospel: entertainment, social engagement, therapy. In my mind, somehow, I began to think that we could move on from the gospel. Somehow I had bought the lie that there was something bigger than the gospel, some higher ground.