Is There An Illustration Here?
A team of firefighters were called back to their station after responding to an emergency because the station was on fire. Apparently in their rush to respond to the emergency one fireman left something cooking unattended.
I think there is some application here for Believers to glean.
Obviously I believe that we as Christ followers have been called to take the gospel message to the all people.
I also believe that The End is sooner rather later, so I attempt to passionately make Him know. Which means I understand the seeker sensitive churches, with seeker sensitive services and outreach ministries. I understand that and support that completely.
But this news story is a gentle reminder that there are certain responsibilities by Christ's followers to take care of before we can rescue others. In fact scripture teaches us that it is by our love for one another that we known.
Compassionate outreach ministries will be, and should be, always apart of what it means to follow Christ. But I'm curious if the church's compassionate ministries are getting lost or out shined by Extreme Makeover, Bono's work in Africa and just in general compassionate service by people, organizations and nations not tied with the church. (Which I'm certainly not advocating those cease by any means, please don't read that).
But if the church fails to love and serve within the church as well isn't anything we do outside the church negated? Yes Jesus stopped and fed the 5000, but when I read the book of Acts I see the church feeding the widows within before I read about the church feeding anyone outside of the community.
And I'm not talking about the health and wealth gospel here. That by joining the church we should see believers flurish financially and physically. Rather I'm suggesting that inclusion into the Kingdom should find a person cared for so that they capable themselves of caring for someone else.
I suppose I would try and summarize my thoughts in this way: Outward compassion without inward care is like polishing a car that won't start.
That's what I'm thinking about today.
Can anyone help me in my thought processes? Either correct or confirm so thoughts?