Monday, December 20, 2004

Mission and Throwing Stones...

I've mentioned before missions false dichotomy the need to beware the blind spot, beware turning the great commission into the great omission. Myers makes some interesting observations, together with a bit of recent criticism as to our 'Christian emphasis' got me thinking further...

"Provoking questions that the gospel is the answer unites gospel-as-life and gospel-as-deed with gospel-as-word. Our witness depends on our living lives so that the Holy Spirit may evoke questions to which our faith is the answer…. calls for Christians to live eloquent lives, the key to provoking questions to which the gospel is the answer."

"...questions are asked by the people when they witness something they do not expect or understand. The initiative lies with them. This avoids Tillich's complaint that "it is wrong to throw answers, like stones, at the heads of those who haven't even asked a question." 210

Myers, B.L. (1999 ) Walking with the Poor - Principles and Practices of Transformational Development. Orbis

The problem is that when you try to live out this 'Christian emphasis' ; when you try to cut an authentic edge with the relationships that naturally occur through church life in your community; when you see your life of evangelism as natural as breathing; when you fail to live your life of evangelism as a predator hunting down its next prey; when you refuse to prostitute, traffick or cheapen the gospel by making it graceless.

The problem is ... when you try ... there is always someone who knows better; someone sat in the wings is ready to judge; someone ready to point the finger and dismiss your 'Christian emphasis'. And all the time, ironically, the 'hard core' even with good intentions, without knowing it maintains and widens 'missions false dichotomy' and the 'blind spot' gets bigger, and as it gets bigger the gospel gets ever more dismissed.

Nevertheless I'll keep trying. I'll keep trying because 'the great omission' is not an option. I'll keep trying but sometimes the bruises show.

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