The Business of the ChurchHow relevant is the Christian faith? Has it still something to say to our world in need? Has it a solution to problems our community faces?
These questions are answered in the negative by many as they see the Christian faith as something spiritual only. It is supposed to be good enough to give comfort to the dying, and some style to a wedding ceremony. But basically it has little to say to the rough and tough world of today. In the minds of many, the Christian faith is a call to submission to the words of Jesus: "Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or Where with all shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knows that you have need for all these things. But seek you first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matthew 6:31-33)
It is supposed to deal only with the soul and spiritual needs. To have peace of heart is what counts. Does the gospel only speak to spiritual needs? The Bible declares that the gospel deals with all of life. There is nothing in this world which is not claimed by Jesus Christ. The gospel reconciles sinners with God through Christ the Lord. But it also offers healing and reconciliation to a broken world.
In the name of Jesus, there is a compassion shown to a world in need. Opposed to the revolutionary voices of today, the voice of the gospel must be heard. The Christian faith is not opium for the people, but it is a stimulant to show the world the only answer to every need Jesus Christ.
Biblical justice, an obedience to God's laws, and a life of compassion are remedies for today's ills.
The church does not direct itself just to some specific needs but to all the issues of today. The Christian message is relevant as God is always relevant. It is encouraging to see that today evangelical Christians from all over Canada are discussing how the whole of the gospel can reach the whole of man. More and more evangelical Christians are coming together in Christian action and fellowship.
God's word has the word for today to which we should listen in faith. The gospel does not leave anything untouched. The Biblical message of reconciliation is both narrow and broad. It is narrow as it deals with man's personal reconciliation with the Holy God through Christ the Lord.
It is broad as it declares that Biblical justice and righteousness must be brought about in our world, in our community. The gospel of reconciliation must be brought to man in need of forgiveness and peace and to a society which has forgotten how to live in obedience to God.
The church has no other business than to preach the old message, yet ever new. Christ is risen from the dead and He is the only answer for the questioning world of today.
Johan D. Tangelder