Eternal Disaster Relief

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“The earthquake scared me. Voodoo has been in my family but the government isn’t helping us. The only people giving aid are the Christian churches.”
Veronique Malot, a 24-year-old Port-au-Prince resident who joined an evangelical church days after the January 12 earthquake.

Source: Associated Press

This is the stuff the world never hears about the church. They report over and over again about all the scandals that occur but it is rare that a statement like this gets repeated by the AP. (Can we have a little applause for the AP! We rag on the media so much that when they do well we ought to say so.)

You’ve heard me say it in church but I am so amazed by what God does that I have to say it again — God takes situations like an earthquake, a tsunami or war — all things that we are horrified by and He steps into them bringing all kinds of healing and strengthens the church and brings people to Christ.

In his book, “The Church is Bigger than You Think” Patrick Johnstone sheds light on this exact matter. Look at what he says,

“Yet it is these traumatic events that have contributed to the harvest into God’s Kingdom. Some question whether a good God could exist if he “allows” such terrible things.” (pg 117)

“We will never see the whole picture this side of eternity, nor be able to give a logical reason for all of these events.” (pg 117)

Johnstone points out that Christ says in Matthew 24 that these things “must take place.”

“One fact has become clear to me in my gathering of information from around the world; the sound bites and the news flashes on our television screens do not tell the full story. God is doing an unprecedented work in our day. These mighty works are not in spite of the disasters, but even because of them.” (pg 118)

In this chapter, Johnstone highlights recent wars, famine, and natural disasters. He goes beyond the media coverage that we are so familiar with to revealed what God did after the cameras and journalists went home.

He closes the chapter with these words, “one day in eternity I am sure God will show us the full pattern of his working in history through the terrible events that have shaken our world.”

We go back again to Paul’s words in Romans 11:34, “”Who has known the mind of the Lord?” He is doing things we don’t understand and can’t see. So when we read the headlines, we can be assured that there is another story being written that we might not know of until eternity.

For more news about how God is at work in Haiti, check in on Rich Mears’s blog. The Mears family are CCC missionaries serving in Haiti.

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Will we die before we change?

3 Comments

    “This needs to be a conversation about who we are, and if the average Christian in our churches would be willing to do anything, personally, in the cause of evangelism?

    We have become a denomination whose leaders talk about evangelism, but whose people actually want little to nothing to do with it.

    Our decline is because of who we want to be and how we want things to operate. We want the culture to adjust to us. We want our families to be saved. We don’t want to cross any barriers and we don’t want to have do something we decided the pastor is paid to do.

    Get ready for many, many years of this. I think most churches will die before they will change this pattern.”

These comments are from a blog that I read from time to time. (Check out internetmonk.com if you want to read the complete post.) He writes in the context of the Southern Baptist Denomination. But I think it is entirely appropriate to insert “Crossing Community Church” or the name of any other church where the quote says “We have become a denomination . . .”

Are we a church that is willing to move from the concerns of our overly burdened life and begin to think about the type of changes in our personal life as well as our church life to see us do something about the needs of the world around us?

Our decline is because of who we want to be and how we want things to operate. We want the culture to adjust to us. We want our families to be saved. We don’t want to cross any barriers and we don’t want to have do something we decided the pastor is paid to do.

Who do we want to be? A church of 100’s with a name for all our outstanding programs and professional paid staff? Do we really think that we will influence culture in such a way that our government will pass laws that favor us and our belief system? Is the salvation of our families the goal of all this?

WHAT BARRIERS WILL WE CROSS TO SEE OUR LIVES COUNT FOR JESUS?

Will the average church person engage in a discussion that addresses “who we are” as a church? If not, why not?

How does the Church exist for itself?

8 Comments

What is the purpose of life?

Why am I here?

How do I make a difference?

People (most of us) want to make a difference in this life. We want to leave things better than they found them. We want purpose and value in our life.

All good aspirations.

Don’t you think that often, as we ask ourselves these questions, if we take them seriously, they motivate us and produce productive energy in our life resulting in worthwhile results?

But do we ask these same questions about other aspects of our life? (Actually, a more compelling question is why do we do anything that won’t push us toward our goal of making a difference in life. But that is for another post/discussion!) To get right to the point, the area that I am confused by is why don’t people ask these type of questions about their church? (Maybe you do!)

Do people ask . . .

What is the purpose of my church?

Why is my church here?

How can my church make a difference?

I read a quote by John Stott that says, If “our structure has become an end in itself, not a means of saving the world, it is a heretical structure.”

I fear that for many the church has lost the mission of “saving the world” and in fact does exist for itself. What are some of the examples that you might have observed that could lead one to conclude that the church does exist for itself? Have we in fact lost our mission to “save the world?”

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