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.

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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."
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ar TORONTO, CANADA | 2018+

OCTOBER

8 Mon 2pm Thanksgiving - Kingston
15-31 Mon-Thu Portugal/Germany/Norway

NOVEMBER
9 Fri time w/ Tol/C
17 Sat ~J speaking at conf (Khev.)
18 Sun speaking at PYH's church
23 Fri MI online board mtg
26 Mon 8pm oversight mtg (VS)
30 Fri BN 60th b'day

DECEMBER
2 Sun speaking at Radiant City Church
29 KH/S wedding

2019 on
Feb 15-18: MIer conference
Feb 16: Sat - 10-yr anniv
Feb 18-22: VT retreat
Feb 22-30: time off (poss. Southern Africa)
Apr 1-3: poss. First Chair retreat
May 10, 10am: CCWM board mtg
Jun 15: poss. Prayer Journey (poss. Australia); poss. visit supporters
Jun 25-29: poss. marketplace conf. - Manila
Dec: likely Indonesia