The evangelical movement today has admirably resisted the new trends in theology that reconceive the mission of the church as an exercise in social engineering. Yet in their worship and social programs evangelicals betray a subtle accommodation to the therapeutic culture of our time by reducing salvation to psychic wholeness and the church to a life support system in the quest for stability and peace in a world disintegrating into spiritual and moral chaos.
Donald G. Bloesch, The Church: Sacraments, Worship, Ministry, Mission (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2002), 34. [Emphasis mine.]
We Christians, walking in the Spirit, are to love God and love others. However, though we can love everyone, We, in general, and I, in particular, cannot tangibly meet all the needs in a loving way. And if it isn’t tangible, it’s just talk. Love is not a feeling of sympathy. Love, love is a verb.
There are people in our church who have deep, deep financial problems. Regardless of how they got where they are, they are in trouble. I would like to tangibly love them by helping them out of their trouble, but there are so many that I could barely begin. And if I did, I would very soon need the same kind of help.
And that’s just in the church and it’s just one kind of problem. They multiply; no, they are are a power curve, exponential in nature.
Each of us Christians has a different way to love and a different group to love tangibly. As far as I can tell, my calling is to love serving people in restaurants. That is why, for me, tipping is more important than tithing.
When I say to a group of church people that tipping is more important than tithing, they look at me rather strangely. Apparently they don’t question the concept of tithing in today’s context like I do. They follow the party line which is promulgated by the organization that benefits from treating tithing as sacrosanct for every Christian.
And I do tithe. Not from a sense of obligation or duty, but as a practical means of doing my part to support the ministries of the church, such as they are.
But I always, always tip well, even for less than stellar service.
How do you love people?