Dunedin, New Zealand, my city - my people

Monday, July 28, 2008

"You're into a social gospel... it's wrong!"

I am OK again now after my last post. In God's amazing grace, I have "fire in my gut" again. An arrogant (well that's my opinion) young man once accused me of just preaching a "social gospel", not the true gospel. It is true I am involved in the community. Through my church activities and chaplaincy work and my interests in Habitat for Humanity and Night Shelter, most of my contacts are with people who will never darken the doors of a church. To my detractors I ask the question, "Where was Jesus found?" "What was he accused of doing?" I love this quote from George MacLeod.

I simply argue that the cross be raised again at the centre of the market place as well as on the steeple of the church. I am recovering the claim that Jesus was not crucified in a cathedral between two candles, but on a cross between two thieves, on a town garbage heap; on a cross roads so cosmopolitan that they had to write his title in hebrew, latin and greek; at the kind of place where cynics talk smut, thieves curse, and soldiers gamble, because that is where he died and that is what he died about. And that is where Church (people) should be and what Church (people) should be about.

I am off now to have lunch with a bunch of emergency workers, black humour and all. Strangely enough I often meet "the sacred" there too! :-)

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