Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Nominal and Childish Sins?

The NY Daily News
quoted an excerpt from the upcoming autobiography of Stephen Baldwin, an actor who has made known his conversion to Christianity:
Baldwin has some advice for Bono: Shut up and sing. "You would do far more good if you preached the gospel of Jesus, rather than trying to get Third World debt relief," he wrote. "God will take care of that Third World country. Get back to your calling, Bono."
A number of reactions:
  1. In the past eight years, I have been to quite a few Christian rock concerts by groups whose lyrics contain a more overtly Christian evangelistic content than does U2. One notable example is the group "Jars of Clay". I remember them gushing at length about African AIDS charity work, notably the organization Blood:Water Mission. Is it possible that God is taking care of that Third World country through the exhortation of Christians like those in Jars of Clay?
  2. What Gospel? One that saves us from what? "Nominal and childish sins"? Or the sins of "greed, trickery, and exploitation", grinding the face of the poor, neglect and indifference? Martin Luther King, speaking on the story of Lazarus and the Rich Man [Dives], said, "Dives went to hell because he sought to be a conscientious objector in the war on poverty." I believe that King is not merely delving into politics but King is echoing a refrain in the witness of the Church historic: your treatment of your neighbor affects your relationship with God. Once you've got a grasp of this relationship being broken, the Gospel makes a little bit more sense.

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