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A Missional Confession

April 24, 2009

As you may or may not know, our church is heavily involved in community impact ministry. This involvement has opened many doors for our church over the years. Just yesterday I was working with a local school nurse to insure that we have all of our slots filled for the dental van we are bringing in for our August Back to School event.

This is where the confession comes in. While we love to help impact the community, while we love to make a difference, we don’t believe this is our mission on earth.

I was recently confronted again with this idea that the Kingdom of God is here to right every wrong and make heaven on earth. That idea so frustrates me, so confuses me, so makes me wonder how did you come up with that, that I want someone to explain.

I believe we are supposed to love the least, care for the widow and orphan, but I have no illusion that my goal is to rid the world of all of these things. My mission is to declare Christ and him crucified.

Do I believe God will restore his creation? Yes, when he comes again. I think that is a great answer to all of those who look at our sin broken world and say it shouldn’t be this way. Paul said all of creation groans and waits for this restoration (Romans 8:22). That is going to continue until Christ return. That is the message for a lost world. Creation itself is frustrated by sin and brokenness. Creation is hurting but the hope of creation isn’t you and me stopping CO2 emissions or even recycling, the hope of creation is faith in Jesus Christ.

Yes we should treat creation with respect, we try to recycle everything, but to think we are going to fix it or that our job should be fixing it is wrong. It should be letting people know a day will come when all of this will be fixed. It is a great way to explain why they feel the way they do but man wanting to be equal with God broke this place, why do we think man acting equal to God will fix it?

Our church does what it does to show people who God is in the hope that we can share that Jesus is Lord. We’re not trying to fix every bad tooth in Owasso, it isn’t going to happen. Our broken human nature will simply bring more children as their parents drop insurance to save on their deductable. If we tried to fix all teeth we would exhaust all of our funds and there would still be bad teeth. That is the dirty little secret about trying to fix everything. It just makes it worse. The attempt to stop poverty ushered in a culture of victimization and entitlement.

I just don’t understand this idea that the church is here to fix everything. Be a light to the world, a city on a hill (Matthew 5:14), you bet. Our communities should be a place where poor are helped, orphans and widows take shelter, where creation matters but that is only to show them who God is, to let them know what Christ came to do, and to point the way to a day when they will be restored.

It seems like the way we look at the Bible has been influenced by culture and that it bothers me.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 25, 2009 11:49 am

    Very well said. I agree completely. While we aren’t here to fix everything, as I see it, whatever we do manage to “fix” is a foretaste of creation restored. Our good works are visible little pieces of the kingdom coming down to earth. While we cannot fix everything, we can demonstrate what the kingdom is supposed to look like.

  2. April 26, 2009 1:39 pm

    I agree totally. “We can demonstrate what the kingdom is supposed to look like”. Exactly.

    I just hear a lot of people who speak like they are going to fix something and they are either setting themselves up for disappointment or they will become so focused on fixing whatever problem they are attacking that they forget that Jesus IS the solution, not just part of the solution.

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