Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Change...or say GOODBYE to the Future

Tuesday, November 11, 2014
When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some.      1 Corinthians 9:22 (NLT)
I’ve been reading a book lately about the pilgrimage of George W. Bush.  It is all about his life changes as he found himself being propelled into the White House.  He went from an aimless – almost pointless selfishness, to a life of untiring, unselfish service.

In telling this story the author often refers to how President Bush’s faith was “on display” (as was the faith of his Oval Office predecessors). 
However, George Bush brought faith into politics as none of his predecessors had, effecting changes in the way government viewed the partnership between faith-based organizations (churches, para-church ministries, all non-profits) and Washington.

In short, a man saw how ineffectively the government provided assistance to those in need; he also remembered that, historically, the church is charged with the responsibility of seeing to the care of those in need…and he wanted to change things for the better by bringing the church and other faith-based ministries back into the picture. 

What President Bush did was just that – allowing faith-based ministries to efficiently deliver aid to those on the margins of society; his guiding principle was Biblical, and that principle was:  …the best of the past should be made to serve the future.[1]

To say that George W. Bush was criticized for bringing faith and government together is to hugely-understate the backlash of the left and right on Capitol Hill. 

(Imagine that – a leader tries to lead and is criticized!)

On the other hand, his effort mobilized thousands of charitable organizations to help millions of people.

The lesson for the church is of incalculable worth:  We should never allow the fact that things have always been done one way, to prevent us from changing for the better.

Rather, we must always be looking to put to good use that which has served well in the past – but, like Paul, we must be ready to find common ground between the ways of the past and the need of the present and future.

To resist change because we like things the way they are…or worse…the way they used to be…is to die.

For You, Today

Do you have any sacred cows?  They make great barbeque!

[1] George W. Bush, Quoted by Stephen Mansfield, The Faith of George W. Bush, (Lake Mary, Fl, Charisma House, 2003), p.88

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