A couple of weeks ago, when everything went crazy in the wake of Biscuitgate, I started helping maintain the Love Wins blog. One of the things I’ve done is moderate comments. Now, most of those comments were great; I didn’t agree with all of them, but they were still good. Some were just ridiculous and didn’t even come close to making the cut. And, then there were the ones that just made me shake my head. It seems several folks were concerned that Love Wins doesn’t proselytize. Usually, they wanted to know if we told our friends about Jesus and what a wonderful life you can have with him. A couple said we weren’t doing job if we didn’t and one even said that Love Wins wasn’t a religious organization because “how can it be Christian/religious organization and not be evangelical?” The only answer I have to these inquiries is to quote Mahatma Gandhi,
“There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.”
Gandhi isn’t alone in this assessment, either. He’s backed up by psychologist Abraham Maslow and his Hierarchy of Needs. Often, Maslow’s theory is portrayed as a pyramid with the most fundamental needs (such as food, water, etc) at the bottom with other needs arrayed in successive upper levels with things such as faith issues at or near the top. Here’s the kicker, though: you cannot deal with the needs of higher levels until the needs at the lower ones are met. In other words, it’s pretty hard to hear someone preaching at you over the growling of an empty stomach.
Because we at Love Wins don’t require people to listen to a sermon before we help them doesn’t mean we love Jesus; we do. It may not be in the most conventional way, but we do. Nor does the fact that we don’t preach at folks mean we won’t talk about Jesus or the Bible, or God or any of that other stuff if someone wants to; all they have to do is ask. But, I’m a little miffed at the notion that if there’s not a sermon, you’re not preaching the Gospel. I assure you, at Love Wins and dozens of other places where good Christian folks reach out to their neighbors, the Gospel is being preached and it’s the version St. Francis spoke of when he said “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.”
With every biscuit handed out, we’re preaching the Gospel. With every cup coffee we share with someone, we’re preaching the Gospel. With everyone smile, every hug, every handshake, we’re preaching the Gospel. With every relationship that is built, we are preaching the Gospel. And, it’s a Gospel that’s a damn sight more useful than some pie-in-the-sky-go-to-heaven-when-I-die fairy tale, too.