Comments 1

  1. If people come to church for community and transformation, would it not be wise to ask what sort of community and transformation the Lord of the church has created through His blood shed at Calvary? The community has One Person at its center, the triune God, known through Jesus Christ. Our fellowship is a fellowship of the Holy Spirit. While we meet others in a variety of places, public worship is still the primary expression of the holy community created by Jesus’ blood. The activities of public worship spill over into every area of life lived to the glory of God and for the benefit of one another. Those who come to Christ come not simply to transform this present world now, but to be transformed by the Redeemer who died and arose. When He died, we died – to self and sin. All who come should be welcomed; all who come must be called to die to self and sin and to find new life in Jesus. Indeed, we may extend a welcome to “believer or doubter, worshiper or skeptic, Hindu or Christian, gay or straight”, but if our goal is only conversation and not conversion, have we not overlooked the very purpose for which Jesus came into this world? God came in Jesus to rescue and to ransom, to change us, to give new life – yes, to convert us. Do we deeply love all who come to us if we give them hope only for this life? Does not love desire rescue for eternity? The doubter who met Jesus prayed, “Lord, help my unbelief”. The skeptic needs faith; the Hindu needs Jesus; the gay person needs to be oriented to Jesus Christ. Atheists, Buddhists and millions of spiritual people who do not know the Savior need to come to Jesus in repentance and faith. We may indeed reach those who do not know Jesus by “serving and eating meals with hungry people” but such acts of love and kindness will never “help you learn more about Jesus than a good sermon”. The only way God has appointed to reach all of us sinners is through His Word and sacraments. Apart from the Word of God there is no true life. While the goal of reaching a wide variety of people outside of Christ is in keeping with His own call, it will be fruitless apart from the gospel itself and apart from the purpose of Christ that we be conformed to image of the Son of God (Romans 8:29). I believe the proposal of this article, though well meant, is too reductionistic and will not result in either true community or transformation.

What are your thoughts about this topic?
We welcome your ideas and questions about the topics considered here. If you would like to receive others' comments and respond by email, please check the box below the comment form when you submit your own comments.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.