Friday, September 10, 2010

campolo party

Here Tony Campolo tells a touching story of how he threw a birthday party for a prostitute. I agree with his point that too often we stay within the walls (literal and figurative) of our "country club churches" and fail to go to those in need of the Gospel. Unfortunately, in this clip, he miscommunicates the real need of the lost.

He states, "If all you've got to offer is a of bowl soup and some clothes, it's not enough. Jesus came and said that I have come that my joy might be in you and that your joy might be full. And we've got to do more than give them just bread and clothes. We've got to bring love and joy into their lives."

Well ... sort of ... we come lovingly and joyfully but this only how we come and by the power of the Holy Spirit, this is how we hope to leave them. But the message we bring is that of the Gospel which is about Jesus. The Kingdom of God is at hand and we all must all repent of our sins and our submission to the powers of the world. We must receive His forgiveness, the price of which He paid through His death, and we must submit to His leadership in all areas of our life, turning from evil and living for Him.

I don't know where Campolo is at but I know some hearing him already disdain the church and heard this as reinforcing their condemnation of the bride of Christ. I know others who have rejected the holiness of God and have reinvented Him into their own notion of love and with that think that our message to the world is that we just show up loving them (and blaming others for their "mistakes" and "brokenness") - failing to show them that they are rebel sinners in need of the saviour they are rebelling against.

Again, that's not what Campolo said but in what he did not say, some will choose to hear what they want. Let's take this story as one that encourages us to see with Kingdom eyes. To have compassion on the lost and not be repulsed by certain forms of sins over others. To get outside of our "four walls". But let's not take this story as the message of the Kingdom. It is not, as presented here, the full picture.

In the end, if all you have to offer is a birthday party with love and joy, it's no better than soup and clothes offered with love and joy.

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