Joel's Post Page
Roman Catholicism in the Middle Ages, assumed that life in the religious orders was a more certain path to salvation than secular life. This monastic view is still prevalent in religious life today. American Christians, especially the evangelicals, give the impression that religious work is more God-pleasing than the work done in the secular world. John Pless, in Taking the Divine Service into the Week: Liturgy and Vocation, writes this:
“According to this mindset, the believer who makes an evangelism call, serves on a congregational committee, or reads a lesson in the church service is performing more spiritually significant work, than the Christian mother who tends to her children or the Christian who works with integrity in a factory.”
This same view existed among the mission executives I knew in this century’s first decade. Influenced by leading evangelical authors like Paul Borden, they recommended that all church ministries, have outreach to people of other faiths, as their primary (more than 50%) function. For many church functions that works pretty well, but I don’t think it caught on with guild members.
It makes no sense to schools either. Reaching out to people of other faiths, including post moderns faiths, has been part of our mission for 50 years. It’s the only way we’ve survived. We certainly couldn’t rely on pastors or evangelists to fill school seats or coffers.
It may be time for pastors, to listen to their teachers, if they want to know how to reach the hearts and minds of people of other faiths, instead of telling us how to do it.