Jim and I finished the book When Charity Destroys Dignity…the final chapters discussed medical institutions and AIDS orphans. Lots to think about and consider! Fortunately we had already learned that throwing money at problems does not solve them — no matter what country you’re in.
Yesterday we started reading Michael Horton’s Christless Christianity. This book is bound to make many of us uncomfortable as we take a look at they way our churches teach (or not teach) about Christ and HIS work.
“Religion, spirituality, and moral earnestness — what Paul called ‘the appearance of godliness but denying its power’ (2 Tim. 3:5) — can continue to thrive in our environment precisely because they avoid the scandal of Christ. Nobody will raise a fuss if you find Jesus helpful for your personal well-being and relationships, or even if you think he was the greatest person in history — a model worthy of devotion and emulation. But start talking about the real crisis — where our best efforts are filthy rags and Jesus came to bear the condemnation of helpless sinners who place their confidence in him rather than in themselves — and people begin shifting in their seats, even in churches.
“Discipleship, spiritual disciplines, life transformation, culture-transformation, relationships, marriage and family, stress, the spiritual gifts, financial gifts, radical experiences of conversion, end-times curiosities that seem to have less to do with Christ’s bodily return than with matching verses to newspaper headlines, and accounts of overcoming significant obstacles through the power of faith. This is the steady diet we’re getting today, and it is bound to burn us out because it’s all about us and our work rather than about Christ and his work. Even important biblical exhortations and commands become dislocated from their indicative, gospel habitat. Instead of the gospel giving us new thoughts, experiences, and a motivation for grateful obedience, we lodge the power of God in our own piety and programs.”