By Charles E. Carlson
I found “Jesus’ Secret Message” in an out-of-print book by that same name, given to me by a church friend, and written by Brian D. McLaren. The theme: Those who are committed begin a new life work on earth, our first mission field. Many never recognize this calling and die without finding it.
If this is true, those of us who are waiting for heaven to envelop us are missing out on Jesus’ not-so-secret plan for us. I certainly missed it for a long time, especially in the years when I was a nominal Evangelical, under the Dispensational, or Christian Zionist influence. I only wish I could take back some of my acts and statements.
McLaren re-defines the Christ follower’s missions, stating that “the secret purpose of Jesus isn’t primarily about heaven after you die. It doesn’t give us an exit escape-hatch from this world; rather it thrusts us back into the here, and now, so we can be part of God’s dreams for planet Earth.” (page 183)
The “here and now” for me started about 16 years ago. WHTT.ORG has focused on correcting the one nation that is more powerful than all the rest and has been either engaged in combat or agitating for the next war for most of my life. We happen to live here, and our once-noble nation blames these killing conflicts on the lesser powers we attack, whose people then become the successive victims.
Killing others has rendered our nation fiscally insolvent while still running in high gear, and worse yet, our churches have failed to oppose the warring. This is our niche. We continue to explain that the underlying purpose of each war is economic. We war to keep our economy boiling, but White House occupants never tell us this.
We also point out that churches have a Jesus taught responsibility to oppose the social evil of war with at least as much vigor as we oppose starvation after a natural disaster in faraway places. As my friend who loaned me Secret Message of Jesus put it, most churches seem to have missed the point.
The full extent of many churches’ mission work is a natural outreach to help financially needy. Meanwhile, wars and the threat of war go on unchecked and under-reported by our churches. Our political leaders blame these serial wars on “hostile” little states that they vilify to keep our moral leaders quiet. Most churches fail to even pray for world peace. Does yours?
Why not? Because to pray for peace is to recognize the wars going on. It is clear logic that when churches fail to pray for peace, they are by default endorsing the warring system, knowingly or not. How much more logical that Jesus is calling us to make our mission while we are here among the living, rather than waiting to domicile us with the dead. Have you found anything in Scripture that rules out this thinking, or is this what Traditional Christianity always was?