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An Enemy

October 16, 2008

I am reading Branding Faith by Phil Cooke and he points out that we need enemies. He mentions Coke vs. Pepsi, Home Depot vs. Lowes and others. His point is that to get anywhere you need someone to be against.

In recent church history it would seem that the enemy has often been the church down the street. That could be theological based or activity based. Either way they become those we are against, the enemy.

Obviously I think that is a little misguided but this isn’t the first time the church has lost sight of the enemy. In Luke 9:49-50 John tells Jesus that they tried to stop a man driving out demons in Jesus name. Jesus tells them not to stop him because, “whoever is not against you is for you.”

So it is certainly not new. No, what struck me is that our current economic crisis gives us a great enemy to be against. What an opportunity for the church. Certainly we are all against these economic troubles. What would happen if we viewed this as our enemy?

What would the church do? Would we offer financial training for people in need? Members who are struggling? Would we remind the world and believers that our hope is not in the economic system of the day?

I know that my messages recently have hit on this enemy. In talking about the Beatitudes and the pure in heart I mentioned how much our world needs people of pure hearts during these uncertain times. I think the church has a wonderful opportunity to unite against this economic darkness.

Help me out, what should the message be? What should our actions entail?

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 17, 2008 9:20 am

    Darin, I’m not one to preach a prosperity gospel, but as followers/disciples of Christ, it is times like this that call us to stand and exercise our faith. I’m not in a position to tell others how to live or to judge their actions, but if we are hurting economically, aren’t others hurting, some more than us? It seems like the opposite thing to do to withhold our finances from helping others in need in such a great time of need all around us. we should increase our giving in times such as these so that what seems irrational to the worldly will point the way to Christ and his love. Our sacrifice will be as a fragrant offering unto the Lord and he will be honored and glorified.

    I know it’s tough for all of us, but of any time when someone could use a blessing, this would be it, but we have locked our pocketbooks and have left our faith as if we put our trust in the financial times rather than in God.

  2. October 17, 2008 3:14 pm

    Thanks for quoting the book Darin. But it should probably be more in context. When I talked about finding an “enemy” – I was talking about fundraising and donor development. I also made it clear that the enemy should never be a person or group, but a issue such as poverty, homelessness, sex slavery, hunger, etc. So the point is to find an evil, connect with the group of people who share those passions and values, and focus on eliminating that enemy. And you’re right about this economic mess we’re in. The question is – what’s the enemy here? Greed? A lack of morals in government? Excess? The key to fixing the issue is first to find the problem and go after it. Great blog… keep it up!

  3. October 17, 2008 4:03 pm

    Dave,

    I hear what you are saying and I agree. Helping others and still giving can become a real issue in these times. I was reading an article where non-profit giving has slid across the board. You are right, this is not the time to stop giving.

    Our calls are up for help but in these times maybe helping people out of a financial bind is the last thing we should do. If greed put them in it will our covering this with a gift help them see that?

    NOt saying you are saying that but this is on my mind.

    Phil,

    Good book. I almost didn’t buy it because of the name. I am going to be commenting on some other thoughts in the future.

    I probably should have been clearer. Obviously your thoughts inspired more of my own.

    Thanks for the comments.

  4. October 18, 2008 1:08 am

    Darin, I understand your thought on this about fueling greed. However, I believe this is the time to be filled with grace. What if someone kept coveting and spending selfishly only to get burned by the mortgage crisis and economic downturn…and then found Christ through the grace and compassion of a Christian? I think many will learn some very difficult lessons through all of this and not only will they be better stewards, but the tightened credit almost forces them to do so. We all deserve a second chance and even Christ tells us that we must forgive (it’s not a direct contextual quote, but the idea behind the application of Matthew 18:21-22 comes to mind here) 🙂

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