QUOTE: "Community service and social activism are ultimately useless unless they yield salvation. You can provide a man with sustenance daily for his entire life, but if you never share the gospel with him he will still be cast into damnation in hell. Many churches are beginning to adopt this social gospel, which basically equates the church to any other nonprofit association. The church is meant to be far more than a Red Cross or a YMCA. The church are those who have been 'called out' of culture, mediocrity and sin. Therefore the church's activism must be inspired by the gospel while simultaneously proclaiming the gospel to the world. Much of what is being deemed as 'servant evangelism' that is divorced from true gospel proclamation is a result of fear rather than of love. We cannot truly love someone without giving sacrificially of ourselves by providing for their greatest need: liberation from sin. If we allow the fear of rejection to take hold of us and deter us from sharing the message we are demonstrating that we do not trust in the sovereignty of God, even as it is present in the work of salvation. … If baseball is played with underhand pitches and a larger ball then it changes the game from 'baseball' to 'softball.' Similarly if ministry is done without the inclusion of the gospel message then it changes the work of 'ministry' into 'social activism,' and this will not suffice to bring salvation unto sinners. Ministry is the role or position of one serving God in a special way for the advancement of the gospel. The marriage between the work of ministry and the message of the gospel is one that God meant to endure until the Final Consummation when all things will be joined unto Christ. Therefore we cannot advance a message that is not upon our lips, and salvation cannot be accomplished when the gospel is divorced from the actions of the church." —Washington, D.C.-area pastor Gilberto Gonzalez, voicing concern in a column called "Is 'Ministry' Getting a Divorce From the 'Gospel'?" over what he sees as a growing imbalance among churches concentrating more on physical needs than spiritual ones [examiner.com, 6/9/09]
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