October 21, 2019, Just Thinking
“He said to him, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?” So he answered and said, “ ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’ ” And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.” But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” (Lk 10:26–29).
In the twenty-first century, with the aid of modern technology, media, business, and commerce, I can have neighbors that live all around the world, and not just next-door. The world that once seemed so vast and remote has become a global village. Below is a quote by Brian D. McLaren in his book ‘Everything Must Change: Jesus, Global Crises, and a Revolution of Hope.’
“More and more reflective Christian leaders are beginning to realize that for the millions of young adults who dropped out of their churches in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, the Christian religion appears to be a failed religion. And for a reason not unlike the one expressed by the young healthcare worker from Khayelitsha: it has specialized in dealing with “spiritual needs” to the exclusion of physical and social needs. It has specialized in people’s destination in the afterlife but has failed to address significant cant social injustices in this life. It has focused on “me” and “my soul” and “my spiritual life” and “my eternal destiny,” I would add to that the theology of exclusivity and triumphalism.
Brian goes on to say, “but it has failed to address the dominant societal and global realities of their lifetime: systemic injustice, systemic poverty, systemic ecological crisis, systemic dysfunctions of many kinds.”
The gospel isn’t just words; Jesus reminds us that the gospel is practical too. “Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Mt 25:44–46).
Now, being a good neighbor means thinking about the gospel on a global level. Join the conversation on the Asheville Progressive College’s Facebook page.