One area where compartmentalizing (the opposite of integration) has hurt the church is the isolation of evangelism. Outreach has often been seen as a separate or unusual “program” in the church rather than a core component of its existence.
I remember being shocked as a young adult by some Hollywood wedding (a true story) in which the traditional vows were replaced with promises to be faithful “until the death of love parts us.” It’s time to return to basics. Love is a commitment, not a feeling. Feelings follow from godly actions, not vice-versa.
It’s a problem I see in churches. It’s a problem I could see us having in the church I now pastor… if we aren’t careful. If we aren’t careful we can depend more on the structure than on an utter dependence on God.
Why is sexual sin singled out as uniquely damaging to the body in a way that other physical actions are not? Substance abuse, gluttony, cutting—these are all harmful acts to the body, but they do not do what sexual misconduct does, according to Paul.
Stunning as it has been, the triumph of immodesty and hyper-sexuality is not itself the root problem. Instead, these problems are symptomatic of a more serious one: the problem of celebrity. And it is a virus that infects us more deeply than any of us imagine. So what are we to do?
Are we talking about the gospel to the neglect of the Spirit’s working in our lives? Are we substituting the gospel for the Spirit when explaining how we operate as Christians in the world? I think those are valid questions, and I want to briefly attempt to answer the question in this post.