Friday, April 26, 2013

Application Questions 2

Turns out my hand injury has recovered enough that we can now consider a few more queries from our reader of DANT.

Natural Affection--What does this mean for participation in church ministry (especially for those of the more introverted persuasion, a.k.a. me)?

And me (heh heh). This relates to what is meant by "natural affection," and in a collectivist society, that would have to mean agape love for one's ingroups. So rather simply, it means finding some way to serve the church. That doesn't mean it has to be some public, extroverted service like being a greeter. Nearly all of my service in ministry is done alone at home or in libraries. Yet of course, it serves the church at large.

The Body of Christ can accommodate service for introverts and extroverts alike. The main thing is that we serve -- in whatever way we are gifted and crafted.

Does giving money to organizations that fight trafficking and help the poor honor Christ?

Yes. I believe that as part of that "Body service," some are called to be the "breadwinners" -- to make money in business so that they can support others in more direct ministry. The example of this would be wealthy patrons who supported the ministry of Jesus out of their means (Luke 8:3).

What if one is unable at any given time to participate more directly? Can giving money still be a loving gesture (of course I am not advocating necessarily never considering doing something more direct)?

Again, yes. The simple fact is that capital of some sort allows ministry to function. These days cash is the token; at other places and times it may have been food and shelter. The bottom line is that provision of tangible support is a solid way of participation.

How to live out the command to visit the widows and fatherless?

This refers, in the New Testament at least, to James 1:27.We should note that it says to visit these peoples in their affliction, and that the word "visit" is a bit of a King Jamesism; it means to look after, not just ring a doorbell. To that extent, we live out the command with ministries to such persons. The "Visiting Angels" service would be a good example to follow when it came to widows (as well as widowers) -- keeping in mind of course that in the Biblical world, "widows" were often quite young, in a day when 35 was the normal lifespan! I cannot speak to any examples for the "fatherless" although I am sure there are ministries that cover such ground.

We'll look at the last three questions next time!

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