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Friday, March 02, 2007

Rick Warren on: "The Greatist Force on Earth"

Rick Warren recently blogged an excellent article on the church. I've appreciated what he's been saying recently now that he has new perspective about poverty.

I've thought a lot about this topic, especially this week with all the local discussion about the violence summit and the role of the church in the summit. As progressive (some would call liberal) my views are, I still believe the the answer to the world's problems is the church and the Gospel. Not to say that we haven't been sidetracked and lose our focus at times. However, I still believe the church is called to be the visible hands and feet of Jesus to the world. Recently CCDA has begun to reiterate that that Christian community development endeavors should be church based. I agree. The is nothing as powerful as a socially active, Bible based congregation that embodies empowerment, reconciliation and living among the poor. This is one of the reasons we involved ourself in church planing a few years back which led to our relationship with St. Samuel Church of God in Christ.

A pastor friend of mine used to say, "The church is the answer for the world's problems. It's the institution that Jesus created to be the expression of the Kingdom of God"

Warren writes:
The Church is the most magnificent concept ever created. It has survived persistent abuse, horrifying persecution, and widespread neglect. Yet despite its faults (due to our sinfulness), it is still God’s chosen instrument of blessing and has been for 2,000 years.

The Church will last for eternity, and because it is God’s instrument for ministry here on Earth, it is truly the greatest force on the face of the Earth. That’s why I believe tackling the world’s biggest problems – the giants of spiritual lostness, egocentric leadership, poverty, disease, and ignorance – can only be done through the Church.

The Church has eight distinct advantages over the efforts of business and government:

1. The Church provides for the largest participation.
Most people have no idea how many Christians there are in the world: More than 2 billion people claim to be followers of Jesus Christ. That’s one third of the world’s population! The Church has about a billion more people than the entire nation of China.

For example, about 100 million people in the United States went to church this past weekend. That’s more people than will attend sporting events in the United States throughout this year. The Church is the largest force for good in the world. Nothing else even comes close.
See Warren's complete article here.

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