Thursday, February 28, 2008

Are you a "no" Christian?

I read a poignant article recently about Christians and how, often, they are known for being "no" people. While I don't agree with a big chunk of the article, it brings up a good point - that what we are for should characterize us more than what we are against.

While we should not stand for sin, especially in our own lives, we can be assured that we are way off if we are basically like the world, but just say 'no' more.

We should be 'yes' people. (We should also not be basically like the world, but that's another article.)

In the fierce U.S. political battle that is taking place, one of the frontrunner's taglines is "Yes, we can." This slogan--"yes, we can"--is a statement of vision. It says, we are going somewhere, we know what we are trying to do and we will get there.

How true this is of Christians who have decided to follow Christ with radical abandonment.


The Gospel of No!
By Jeremy Reynalds

"If you ask people what comes to mind when they think of Christians... Here's some of what I suspect you may hear. .. 'Christians? They're those people who are against everything. They think they're right and everyone else is wrong.' .. 'Christians? They hate homosexuals and people who have abortions.' .. 'Christians? Oh, they're those people on TV who are always begging for money. With everything I've seen about them on the news recently, I think they're all crooks and hypocrites.'"

"While we complain about the way we're profiled by the media, is the coverage really unfair? Perhaps we're suffering the effects of our own shortsighted interpretation of the gospel, as well as the strident, angry discourse dispensed by those individuals and groups whom the media believe speak for us."

"Rather than focusing on the Lord's redemptive love for humanity, it's a message that co-opts politicians to fulfil its theological agenda, bombastically demanding Christian laws and a culture that reflects the Judeo-Christian ethic. Sadly, the proponents of the gospel of no seem to have forgotten that behavior changes when hearts are changed, not when a new political party gets into power."

"Over the last couple of years I've had a spiritual epiphany as I've come to realize that rather than being defined for what we are against, we should be known for what we stand for. Here are some examples. .. Christians should be the leaders in compassionate assistance for the disenfranchised, hungry and homeless. .. And when people whom we try to help don't behave in a societally acceptable manner, rather than writing them off and congratulating ourselves for being Biblically correct, we should try and dig deep into their circumstances to see what issues they are dealing with that are causing them to act inappropriately. .. As Christians, we should also be in the forefront of the battle against AIDS and be known as comforters of those who are so afflicted. .. On the world scene, we should also recognize that while we have a Biblical obligation to love Israel and its people, we have just as much of a mandate to love the Palestinians and remember their plight and the needs they experience. .. If we begin addressing these issues, we just might end up convincing people that Christians really do bring "good news," not the gospel of no."
ar TORONTO, CANADA | 2023+



27 Sat (1) 11am Commencement speaker at R. University, (2) ~3pm+ time w/ V/AR+
29 Mon (1) 9:30am VT prayer, (2) 3pm mtg DerCh - Mississauga
30 Tue (1) 10am ph call (AA), (2) 5:30pm video mtg (IsTan), (3) 8pm neighbourhood prayer mtg

1 Thu (1) 11:30am Zoom mtg (LM), (2) 4pm mtg (VS,KBr)
2 Fri (1) 10:30am ph call (PVDW; SL w/ boys; ~J working)
3 Sat SL w/ boys and MG
5 Mon (1) 9:30am VT prayer mtg, (2) 2pm Europe call, (3) 5pm mtg/walk (YM)
6 Tue (1) 11:30am lunch (GD) - St. Jacobs, (2) 4pm mtg (AF) - Cambridge, (3) 7:30pm worship night
9 Fri ~J's b'day
10 Sat North Bay trip
13 Tue 11am mtg (DAy) (~J school trip w/ ~Co | text BD)
14 Wed 9:30am time w/ BD
15 Thu 4:30pm video mtg (Paul T.)
16 Fri (1) 9am video med appt, (2) 15-km run (Prayer Journey "warm-up")
17 Sat Prayer Journey (my own: 50km GTA bike-ride; Jessie's: 5KM) and speaking at GTA after-party
23-25 Fri-Sat poss. SL
26 Mon 2pm Europe monthly call
29 ... July 7 Thu-Fri poss. holiday in Arkansas

... 7 Thu-Fri poss. holiday in Arkansas
~8-17 SA+ in Toronto; P/H Bell likely visiting too
15 Sat aft+ baptism (Saj; NaB may be coming)
17-21 Mon-Fri Kids Kapers camp
24 Mon 2:45pm med. appt
26 Wed (1) 11am video mtg (SM), (2) 3pm Zoom mtg (SMa,SB), (3) 7pm ~J speaking at Greenhouse/Zoe - UofT downtown
27 Thu 10am video MVT board mtg
31 Mon 3:05pm med. appt
July/Aug CCWM board mtg / AGM

2 Wed 11am video mtg (SM+)
6-12 Sun-Fri Cottage w/ O/DN+ and UB/AC - Windermere; plus Muskoka
19 Sat poss. ~J fam beach day - Brighton area
25-29 Fri-Tue MoveIn staff retreat - southern Ontario

Sep 21 Thu - MVT board mtg
Sep 23 Sat poss. date of GV memorial
Sep 24 Sun ~Ch's b'day
Sep ~26-28 Poss. time in Lushnjë, Albania
Sep 29 - Oct 6 MoveIn Europe Conference+ - Durrës, Albania
Oct 21 Sat poss./unlikely date of GV memorial
Oct 21-27 Dollar-a-Day week
Early Nov Poss. fundraising event - Niagara
Nov-Jan Poss. time in India - Goa; Philippines - Manila+; Indonesia - Jakarta/Bali; LA/San Diego