“Jesus’ call to us is not simply to be an enclave off to ourselves. The Greek words for “good deeds” usually mean not moral behavior in general but deeds of compassion and service. Early Christian bishops in the Roman Empire were so well-known for identifying with the poor and weak that eventually, though part of a minority religion, they were seen as having the right to speak for the local community as a whole. The early church was known to be more committed to and effective in help for the poor than was the Roman government or other cultural institutions. Unless that is true for us today as well, we should not expect cultural impact. If the church does not identify with the marginalized, it will itself be marginalized. That is God’s (poetic) justice.

Just as Israel was told to “seek the peace and prosperity” of the great pagan city of Babylon (Jer 29:4-7), so Christians should be well known as people who seek to serve other whether they believe Christianity or not. We are called to be a beautiful city of light inside every city. Citizens of the city of God should be the very best citizens of their earthly city as well.”

– from “Cities and Salt: Counter-Cultures for the Common Good” by Tim Keller (in my Perspectives reader!)


~ by justinhong on May 17, 2010.

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