I just saw this excerpt from The Divine Commodity: Discovering a Faith Beyond Consumer Christianity:
We have incorrectly made the scale of our methods conform to the scale of our mission. We have assumed that the magnitude of the ends should be proportional to the magnitude of the means. And in the process we’ve revealed how captivated our imaginations really are to consumerism. Gregory Boyd points out the error: “We are to transform the world. That’s the call. But the way you do it from a kingdom perspective is very different from the way you do it from the world’s perspective.”
Failure to understand this has scarred the church throughout history. For example, through much of its history the church in Europe employed conventional (worldly) means to advance its spiritual mission. This resulted in the gospel being spread by the sword. We now look back at the Crusades, the Inquisition, and the slaughter of native peoples in the Americas mournfully. Centuries removed from those atrocities we wonder—how could people do such things in the name of Christ? Did they not see how inconsistent those methods were with the ways of Jesus? At the time, of course, they did not.
Today we consider ourselves more enlightened, but are we? We may not use the sword to advance the church’s mission anymore, but the sword is no longer the conventional instrument of power and influence. Today the church emulates the methods of corporations and business, and most of us never pause and ask whether such tactics are consistent with the ways of Christ. Like the Crusaders, we seem content to leave such judgments for future generations whose vision will be sharpened by history.
I’ve ordered a copy and it’s on the way – watch this space!
HT Out of Ur.