Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Galloping Greed

I read an interesting blog post today about the ways we have gotten ourselves into such a mess economically. Take a look and see what you think.

The blogger mentioned a hallowed name in Christian missions and contemporary theology, Leslie Newbingin. Rev Newbingin was an Anglican Missionary in India for many years. When he returned to England upon retiring he saw that England had almost completely lost her way as a Christian nation.

I spent two weeks in Kenya in 1983 and came back to Oxford for a week before my return to the USA. I think my reaction to England must have been somewhat like Bishop Newbingin's. He and I had both been in nations where Christianity was fresh, exciting and dynamic. Both had come to faith in Jesus Christ through Missionaries from England's Anglican and Methodist groups.

Back in Great Britain, things were not so great. In fact, the churches had essentially lost their faith and had become museums of a prior era. In Kenya congregations gathered on every corner at the beat of a drum. Indian was similar. That missionary faith was growing and expansive in attitude. Millions were coming to faith and the churches of all sorts were growing, often despite severe persecution.

The people in England had grown fat and demanding. An entitlement mentality led citizens to expect the government to take care of them and whining replaced worship. The denominations were bureaucratic and the leaders self serving while preaching about serving the poor.

Bishop Newbingin began to write and preach about regaining a missionary or missional attitude. he saw that unless Christians had a passion to evangelize the homeland England was doomed. The galloping greed of the West was creating havoc and self destruction.

The same can be said about the USA. Unless we regain our passion for reaching unbelievers and sharing the good news with our neighbors and friends the current crisis will cause us all to be spiritually crushed. Jesus said it plainly; "You cannot serve both God and Money."

Let us seek God's direction and power to preach the good news with faith, hope and love. Let us regain that missionary spirit that led the US to send missionaries around the world to take the good news to others. Homeland missionaries are desperately needed in the USA today as the primary antidote to the economic crisis.

Gary Sweeten

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