Tuesday, November 23, 2004

The Final Frontier

I've been wondering why none of my post have been especially meaningful lately (I'm sure you enjoyed reading about my new socks, but still...not exactly high literature). I usually just post about whatever it on my mind at the moment. Lately, I've been letting "the moment" pass a good bit simply because what I was thinking about wasn't terribly important or interesting, and I was curious why that was.

Well, thanks to an email from a friend in Amman, I realized what was different about being here than when I was over there. Over there, we were studying Mark together three days a week, and I was being very dilligent about my own studies. Here, I've not been so diligent and the only other study I've gotten was on Sunday mornings at my parents' new church.

So, I'm working on being more diligent about my own reading again, and I'm gonna see what else is out there for me. I'll let y'all know how it goes and you can keep me accountable.

Anyway, so in his sermon on Sunday, my parents' pastor was closing out their "40 Days of Purpose" (purpose-driven) Study by preaching on the final purpose of our lives (according to Rick Warren) - Evangelism. It was a great sermon. He likened believers to mailmen ("postal workers" for the PC among you) - we just deliver the message given to us to deliver. It's not our place to force the person to respond or listen, it's just our place to "deliver the mail."

But he said one thing that bothered me, and he said it a couple of times....and I've heard it from other people in the past too. He said that God _needed_ us to deliver His message.

I just can't agree with that. I've spent the last year and a half working overseas. While I was working for an "unaffiliated, secular NGO," we all know that one of _my_ personal main purposes was evangelism. I think I learned a lot on the subject during my time overseas. One of the main lessons I think I've learned is that our participation in evangelism isn't _necessary_ to the spread of the gospel - it's a privilege.

It's like in Star Trek V when Spock asks, "What does _God_ need with a starship?" God doesn't _need_ our "help" to spread His message...but like we allow children to help in tasks to help them grow, He allows us to "help" Him to let _us_ grow.

Experiences like what I've been through for the past year and a half didn't happen so that the lives of people in Iraq could be changed by their interaction with _me_. It happened so that _I_ could be changed by _Him_.

Evangelism is something that we're commanded to do. There are no two ways about that. BUT, to claim that God _needs_ us in order to get His message out to the world makes God seem pretty powerless...like the "god" in Star Trek V.

(And for those of you who aren't Trekkers out there, the guy in Star Trek V that needed the starship wasn't really God.)

1 comment:

Mom said...

As a loyal Trekker, I must correct the mistaken credit to Spock of saying, "Why does God need a starship?". That was Kirk.

I take credit for your knowing that God doesn't NEED us to help, He WANTS us to help. That is sooooo much nicer to know. I'd really worry about a "god" that needed my help, but I'm forever in awe that HE, the creator of the universe, is willing to let me help in HIS plan. You heard that alot as a kid.

Love, Mom