Social Action…keeping it real

‘Christian programmes for justice and compassion severed from their proper roots in the life of the local congregation lose their character as signs of the presence of Christ and they risk becoming mere crusades fuelled by a moralism that can become self-righteous. And the life of the worshipping congregation severed from its proper expression in compassionate service in the secular community around it risks becoming a self-centred existence serving only the needs and desires of its own members.’

Lesslie Newbigin The Open Secret: An Introduction to the Theology of Mission (1995)

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3 Comments

on “Social Action…keeping it real
3 Comments on “Social Action…keeping it real
  1. Hey mate,

    I agree, but does that mean that we don’t do mission in communities that don’t have a viable congregation (about two thirds of Leeds)? Because those tend to be the communities that need it the most…

  2. Perhaps he is challenging the existence of para-church agencies. There are at least two reasons for these organisations to continue to fulfil a vital role. The first is that few local churches are substantial enought to address the more substantial issues that affect our communities (both the need for words and action). The second is that many churches continue to be places where the preaching of the word, inside the building limits the capacity of the organisation to speak truth to people in our communities.