Tag Archives: the Great Commission

Do What I Say, Not What I Do . . .

22 Jan

I John 3:18, “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but indeed and in truth.”

A number of years ago I sat under the teaching of a Bible study leader who taught us the book of Romans.  At the end, she pointed out the diversity of the people Paul greeted, slave and free, black and white, Roman, barbarian, and Jew.  She held that up as a model for our response to the diversity we see around us, mentioning that the church should embrace diversity more than any other body.  She specifically mentioned ministry to people with AIDS, as that was a new subject back then.

I was overjoyed at that teaching and very respectful of the viewpoint.  I told her how thankful I was that she had gotten into AIDS ministry and asked how I could do the same.  There was a pause and a cleared throat.  “Oh, I don’t do AIDS ministry.  I only mentioned that as an ideal for us to shoot for . . .”  Oh!

My friend knew the Great Commission and how it calls Christians forth to go evangelize the world.  She knew it so well that she taught it to us almost every week.  So I was later surprised to find that she did not practice this herself either.  She told me her job in the Body of Christ was to equip others to fulfill the Great Commission.  Wow!

Only . . . she was just being honest in an area where other people are not, right?  How many Bible teachers believe that their job stops as soon as they have told others how to go fulfill the Great Commission?  How many don’t try to fulfill it personally?

Fact is, our human nature is lazy and wants to give us a free pass while we tell others to go out and do the Kingdom work.  We just need to be aware of this fact about ourselves.  Jesus called the Pharisees out about that tendency to lay burdens on others that they would not pick up themselves.  

There is a great work to be done and none of us is exempt from the call to do it.  Let’s go, okay?

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Should Christians Stay out of Politics?

17 Dec

Mark 12:17, “And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marvelled at him.”

I had a most interesting exchange with a stranger on a friend’s Facebook page the other night.  The position taken was that Christians have no place in politics because we haven’t yet fulfilled the Great Commission to evangelize the planet.

Three quick points on that:  

1) It is an example of “either-or” logic that says if a person is in the process of doing political work, she could not possibly be evangelizing the planet at that exact same moment.  I assert that she could be.  I believe every sphere of our lives as Christians is sacred, not just the ones we declare to be sacred or the ones we do on Sunday morning.  

2)  It is an example of a sanctimonious way for a person to say he is not interested in politics.  If someone isn’t interested in politics, that is fine.  Many people are not.  Just say it that way, instead of trying to put a guilt trip on Christians who get involved politically.  We are all different. Additionally, I have noticed most people who lecture others about not getting involved politically because the Great Commission takes precedence are actually doing neither.  Usually the person who voices this opinion, when questioned, will reveal that they are not actively involved in evangelizing anyone.  They just think you should be!  Nice! 

3) Is it even possible for a person to be actively evangelizing the planet 24/7?  Would not a person who tried to have the gospel coming out of his mouth every possible moment get a little too tightly wrapped and suffer a breakdown eventually?  I ask because a friend and I actually tried to do that in college.  We wanted every sentence to have the word Jesus in it, somehow (or at least “praise the Lord”).  Even in math class.  Ha!  It was after that that I realized the gospel is in every part of our lives as Christians and it is our job to not misrepresent it, as we go through our day.  I mean, once a co-worker knows I am a Christian, he will be watching me for consistency, no?

I do understand that there are some black and white thinkers among Christians who believe we must speak the gospel in order to evangelize the planet 24/7.  And, at its heart, that is what the Great Commission says!!!  We must sometimes speak the gospel.  There is no escaping it.  I just assert that evangelizing is a total lifestyle, in which we use words, deeds, and even thoughts to be transformed into Jesus’ image and to work with the Holy Spirit to transform our planet.  There is no “either-or” about it.  We are at it 24 hours a day, wherever we are!

I jokingly said to a few friends who saw a clip of my husband and me doing karaoke at his office party the other night that I couldn’t put the clip on Facebook lest someone send me a note about not fulfilling the Great Commission.  But the fact is, the friends with whom we were doing the karaoke (my husband’s work partner and her husband) know we are Christians.  We already have a witness there.  And nothing we did the other night compromised that.  That, at its heart, is Great Commission living.

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