Saturday, April 14, 2012

Love and the Gospel

I have just started reading a book by the founder of GFA entitled Revolution in World Missions.  There is a marked tone in his work that I can't easily dismiss.  In fact, it is rare for me to become so unsettled so quickly from any book, much less on a day when I've got a headache and feel like whining more than usual.  However, this was such the case as I started reading his book.  He describes his early days as a street-preacher in largely unreached villages in North India.  He refers to getting beaten and stoned for his preaching, as well as sleeping in ditches by the side of the road rather than risk staying in the homes of unbelievers.  It is very similar experience to that recorded in Acts, including casting out demons, preaching to the masses on the streets, shaking the dust off of their feet in villages unwilling to hear, etc.  This section of the book is the most exciting narrative I could imagine.  It is the life I have only ever dreamed of.  But the excitement soon fades as I reach the next chapters--those which describe his first years in the United States in seminary.  He recalls being horrified at the state of Christianity and the Church in the US.  Expecting to find a bastion of faith he instead finds fat, lazy, wasteful Christians with weak faith and no little to no concern for the rest of the Church scattered around the world.  He must have suffered from horrible culture shock, and that I can relate to at least to a small degree.  It is difficult, even having grown up here, to come home from the majority world Church, only to finally see the amount of waste and excess we surround ourselves in.  It is truly sickening when viewed through the eyes of someone walking barefoot from village to village to spread the Word.  He points out very adeptly that even the poor within our own borders we care nothing about.  We insulate ourselves from having to interact with or intervene in the lives of the poor and addicted and legally compromised.  There has to be something better that God has for us.  Ignoring the poor and hoarding our resources is NOT taking up our cross daily...

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