¶ … teach stewardship principles in the Church?
Following a morning church service you enter the foyer and overhear a discussion that you decide to join.
Bert: & #8230;so we really, really need to get the message out to the world that we are selfishly ruining our environment. Politically important people are exploiting poor people and the environment itself. This is not what Jesus would do.
Herbie: Well, I think Jesus went about teaching the Kingdom of God, not saving the environment. When people are walking down a road that leads to continuous torment and death, how much time should you spend teaching them to repair the road they're walking on? These issues are distracting.
Sally: Well, regardless of which road you're walking on, you make little choices each day about how you will walk that road.
Bert: Good point. Jesus walked that road. He probably had one suit, simple food, borrowed mattress to sleep on and no recreational vehicle to drive....
So He was making choices that we don't think about enough.
Herbie: (sigh…) To get people to think about those choices, you have to change their hearts first. You must communicate the gospel to people. When they are healed, then the Spirit of Christ will point them to less ecologically extravagant choices.
Sally: But Herbie, is that really happening in our churches? Are new converts just naturally choosing more environmentally responsible patterns? Don't we need to help them with this? Jesus said to make disciples. Doesn't that mean teaching them on a variety of issues?
Bert: If we're visibly out there being environmentally protective and responsible people will ask: "Why is your church doing this stuff?" It will be just natural to share our story of conversion to Christ and the new priorities He builds into our hearts.
Herbie: Bert, I don't think people will ask that question. They will assume we're selfishly trying to save the turf we live on just like some of them do. It's like, you're doing a good thing but there's nothing particularly spiritual about it. The world wants to save the planet. We want to save people.
Sally: Herbie, I think God wants us to do both. So, how do we get the world to see us making good environmental choices while they hear us proclaiming salvation through Christ and new life in Him?
You decide to chime in (but which response below is yours, a) or b)?):
a) We really need to focus on our original mandate from Jesus: preaching the gospel. As people come to faith in Christ, many questions including some…
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