This is a great sermon to explain how we got the New Testament, and why we can trust it.
Jesus said “for the poor you always have with you” (John 12:8), so poverty isn’t something we’re going to fix before our sun expands into a red giant and fries us all… though, maybe the rich will have fled to one of Jupiter’s moons by then.
There are numerous (too numerous to count) reasons why someone would be poor, it’s not as simple as “they just don’t have money” as anyone can see in the related infer in a podcast from the Freakonomics folks. Basically, when you give money to people, it doesn’t really change their status long-term.
One of the things that serves to keep poor people poor are structures. One of the most common structures found in generally successful people (those who are not trapped in poverty) is a family representing both a mom and dad (particularly, a dad).
I’ve always heard gun rules, and even if you don’t have guns in your home, it’s very important to know how to be around guns safely (because you and your kids ARE).
The NRA has long had “Eddie Eagle” rules to teach your children (which I drill our kids on from time to time):
- If you see a gun:
- Don’t Touch.
- Leave the Area (run away)
- Tell an Adult
You may say “well, I keep my children away from guns” really?
As a minister of the gospel, I am constantly looking for opportunities to communicate the gospel in terms people can understand, to lead people to accept the gospel, and to encourage the church to live-out gospel responses.
That’s why I’ve been really disappointed by some Christians who have written blogs that don’t even mention “the other side” even going so far as to say “this is not about officer Wilson!” I’ve even seen the shooting of Michael Brown compared to historic injustices in the civil rights movement like the shooting of Martin Luther King Jr. (!).
Look, I know people are going to have knee-jerk purely emotional reactions, and we need to be there and love people through those, but you’re hurting the gospel when you’re saying the wrong things. For a Christian leader to promote such inflammatory non-fact based writings is incredibly disappointing to me. It’s not about having “all the facts” but enough of the facts to know when we have misspoken.
Clearly, I think, 1 Cor 15:1-11 is a sufficient description of the gospel:
Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures… so we preach and so you believed.
- the gospel is communicated/declared/preached
- the gospel must be received/believed
- Jesus died to pay for the penalty of our sins
- He really died and was burried
- He really did, physically, come out of the grave on the third day
- All of this is in accordance with the OT (this is the earliest Christian tradition recorded)