Sunday, September 14, 2008

Drawing Lines

If you collaborate, cooperate and partner with other ministries for the furthering of the gospel, what you expect of their attitude toward the gospel?

Clearly, denial should mean no cooperation.

But what about "simple affirmation?"

Is it demanding too much from other ministries that they not merely agree with the gospel (when asked), but share a like passion? While they may desire you assume their adherence to the message that Christ died for our sins, was buried and was raised to life, isn't it more beneficial to find a partner ministry that places the message out front and center?

Is this too critical a stance?

4 comments:

Jessi said...

If someone would say, "yes, this is too critical a stance," wouldn't that void The Great COmmission? I believe we are commanded to share the gospel out front and center.

Keith said...

A couple observations . . .

(1) The application of cooperation or separation will always function at various levels on various issues. For example, I could cooperate with anybody who is anti-abortion in an anti-abortion cause (some of them may not profess to be Christians at all), but I would not be able to cooperate with some of those same people on an evangelistic outreach project. Then some with whom I could cooperate on the evangelistic project, I might not be able to cooperate with on a church planting project. It will continue to be trickier and messier as we move through this era of apostasy. And it is so tricky and messy that we cannot resort to something as cheap as the guilt by association techniques, organizational names, etc.

(2) Part of the problem is the reductionist spirit of the age. What so many want is the "Gospel minimum" to affirm. This approach implies that as long as you affirm the minimum, everything else is unimportant or up for grabs. But the reality is that the whole Bible is the Gospel, not just the minimal formulations. No one can deny the centrality of the the death, burial, resurrection, and appearances of Jesus as the minimum of the Gospel (1 Cor. 15). But neither should anyone deny the whole of Scripture as Gospel. What a hollow, cheap approach it is to want to just get by with the least possible amount of Gospel when God places before us the beauty, fullness, satisfaction, and joy of the whole.

danny2 said...

jessi,

well, i wouldn't say it "voids" the great commission, for it is not necessarily that they deny or teach a different gospel. however, by focusing on other things, or lacking a general zeal for the gospel, it certainly seems they are denying its power...thus becoming ineffective.

keith,

great to see you back in the blogosphere!

i agree with the levels issue. the bummer is that i am finding more and more organizations that should be centered around the gospel are much more interested in their own strategy or plans than on basking in the Father's goodness to us through His Son.

Jessi said...

ahh...okay,Danny, thanks for taking the time to explain that to me. i obviously have a lot to learn, and it helps when others take the time to explain. Thanks again :)