I was trolling around the internet tonight looking for something crazy and offensive to write about because my milder post ideas seemed lame and tired. I think I’m just feeling lame and tired because even when I found really* juicy** stuff*** I just couldn’t get up the energy to tear it down. But I finally found something. This little gem from ChristianPost.com,
Meanwhile we compress most of our mission work into one week in Mexico once every year or two. And even that is comprised mostly of building houses, not necessarily advancing the kingdom of God and the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The article is talking about how Mormon churches do a better job of “doing youth ministry” (whatever that means) than Evangelical Protestant churches do. Mormon churches demand two years of service (actually, they only demand that of men, women usually serve 18 months) as proselytizing missionaries. Evangelical churches only demand a week every couple of years.
But look at Mr. Stier’s real complaint here, his mission trips are only building houses, not “advancing the kingdom of God and the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.” He’s complaining about his kids serving the poor in their material needs instead of handing our Jack Chick tracts to them instead. I think Mr. Stier isn’t actually very familiar with the gospel.
Let’s hear some of them:
Psalm 12:5 “‘Because of the oppression of the weak and the groaning of the needy, I will now arise,’ says the LORD. I will protect them from those who malign them.”
Psalm 140:12 “I know that the LORD secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy.”
Isaiah 25:4 “You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat. For the breath of the ruthless is like a storm driving against a wall.”
Luke 1:52-53 “He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.
Luke 6:20-21 “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours in the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.”
James 2:5 “Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?”
And most famously,
Matthew 25:34-40 Then the King will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”
Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?”
The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
So I highly suggest that Mr. Stier stop his feverish fretting over his failure to pound the gospel into the heads of people who mostly need the wind and rain kept off their heads. Meeting the basic need of all people, whether or not they convert to your religion, serves justice and justice is the work of God, no? Just remember this is what Evangelicals mean by their “literal” reading of the Bible. They usually mean, “creatively interpreted, except for those parts we find uncomfortable, like caring for the poor and striving for economic and political justice, which we just outright ignore.”
*People flipping their lids about women being allowed into combat!
**People flipping their lids about the BSA possibly, maybe, not forcing troops to exclude gay kids or their gay parents!
***Why abortion rates in Russia caused Putin to ban Americans from adopting Russian orphans!