A Student of History

December 21, 2007

Salvation or Charity-which should be first?

Filed under: The world today — John Maass @ 4:18 pm

At the leftist on-line magazine Slate, there’s an article worth reading on churches, popular culture, and the (claimed) need for the first to relate to the second.  Overall it is not bad, though it is telling and typical that it is written by someone who left a church, not from an insider.  Nevertheless, the author states the following about mainline churches: “their charitable works can come off as secondary to the goals of converting hordes of souls to Jesus or pushing their conservative brand of family values.” 

This, sadly, is what happens when you have an article along these lines written by someone who is no longer involved with church, has no understanding of theology or church history, and wants to make the church conform to modern times rather than celebrate the Church’s timeless message of morality–what he calls “pushing their conservative brand of family values.”  Moreover, I “hate” to tell author Jesse Noyes that “converting hordes of souls to Jesus” IS in fact the primary goal of the church, and it always has been!  Churches are not primarily social welfare outlets, although it is an important mission of the church to help to poor, feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, etc., even in the post-FDR era.  But it is not to be placed in front of salvation of the soul.  Mr. Noyes completely misses this crucial fact.  Apparently it is more hip to be modern or current.

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