Monday, April 16, 2012
Good News Must be Both Good and News
The good news is there, if you look for it, but so often it's hidden, underground and obscured. It's more sensational for news organizations to report about churches abusing children, pastors doing drugs and congregations spewing hate. The obvious and glaring dichotomy between the teaching of Jesus and the publicized activity of the church is anything but good news. It's news though, it gets passed around and repeated to the point where Christians have a reputation for being hypocrites. It's definitely news, but it's not good.
Good news is undeniable, no matter the religious convictions of the person hearing it. Good news is the man I met in Kenya who had a reputation for being the town drunk. Through the church, he got sober and started a farm and is now a leader in the community. Good news is the racist white man embracing a black man because they are brother's in Christ. Good news is a woman off drugs, off the streets and out of an abusive relationship. Good news is a marriage that was falling apart finding restoration. Good news is a mourning couple being surrounded and supported by strangers. Good news is there, if you look for it.*
Then why do we have such a hard time sharing good news with non-Christians? One reason, I think, is that we don't experience the good news. All the stories of good news happen when Jesus-followers let their lives be changed by what Jesus has to say. The drunk doesn't sober up unless Jesus has a claim on his life, the racist doesn't give up hate and the addict doesn't stop doing drugs. But for some reason Christians have stopped changing in response to the teachings of Jesus. It seems like there's a point at which the change is deemed no longer necessary. Christians work to achieve a certain level of goodness and then stop, or, at the very least, slow way down.
What if we continued to let the words of Jesus make claims on our lives? What if change was a mark of a Jesus-follower? The Disciple Cycle culminates in change. Questions lead us to do thing differently. If we stay the same, there's no point. There's no cycle and there's no good news. But, if we continue to let Jesus answer our questions with a challenge to change, then we won't run out of news that is too good to keep to ourselves.
*Note, all of these are real things that I personally witnessed.