April 19, 2010 | 10:25 am

Monday - The Way We Get There

 
Something has bothered me about how some of us Christians approach outreach. There can be a mentality that we should do whatever it takes to make people Christian, and thus the ends always justifies the means. This leads to heavy-handed tactics, bait and switch events, and the people around us becoming prospects. I could easily continue to rant about this, but I raise it to illustrate two things about Christianity and “ends” and “means.”  First, we can never use unchristian means to get to a Christian end. It is not just about what we achieve in life. It is about how we get there. Second, what we believe about Christian “ends” matters because it guides the choices we make along the way. Theologians talk about mission Dei, the mission of God. Central to this is the work of God to bring about salvation, which is more than what happens after we die. It is the all-encompassing movement of God to effect peace and reconciliation with each other, with God, and with all of creation. With this end in mind, we should ask ourselves, do the choices we make and the actions we take contribute to this? I’d like to think that the way we live each day can lead to a little more peace and reconciliation in the world.