Will Willimon, Remember Who You Are

28Apr08

The trouble with much of our social activism is that it often starts with, “What can the church do to serve the world?” So the church ends up running errands for whatever the world happens to be craving at the moment. Not all action in the world is God’s action. We should begin as the baptized and the baptizers asking, “How can the church serve the imperative of the gospel (to “go into all the world…baptizing”) and thereby help the world discover its true identity as God’s world, God’s cherished creation?” On the other hand, the trouble with much of our evangelism is that it often starts with, “What can the church do to save individuals?” So the church ends up speaking to individuals, pleading for inner change, ignoring outward needs and pressures, corporate evil, social injustice. Salvation is thus reduced to the personal, the therapeutic, the subjective, the emotional, the individual and is thus made petty and local. Our baptismal mandate is more cosmic, more “worldly” than that. Our evangelism and social activism are one in speaking and doing the Good News to God’s cherished heirs. This is all baptismal work, and we had best be about that work with vigor.

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2 Responses to “Will Willimon, Remember Who You Are”

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