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Evangelism - Myers Mott Maggay Linthicum        

The Secret Message of Jesus  

"An American-born pastor was being interviewed on British television. ... 'Jesus talked about peace and reconciliation, turning the other cheek, walking the second mile, that sort of thing. How do you reconcile that with your war?' The pastor hesitated a moment and then replied, "Well, the teachings of Jesus are personal. They have nothing to do with politics and foreign policy." When I heard this story, a chill crept up my neck as I remembered saying similar things myself many years ago. ... I've become convinced that although Jesus' message was personal, it was not private. I've been convinced that it has everything to do with public matters in general and politics in particular - including economics and aid, personal empowerment and choice, foreign policy and war. 

"The fact is, Jesus called his message good news, itself a public term that evoked the political announcements of the Roman emperors. ... I've become convinced that if the good news of Jesus were carried in a newspaper today, it wouldn't be hidden in the religion section (although it would no doubt cause a ruckus there). It would be a major story in every section ... 

"In my religious upbringing I was not taught the public and political dimensions of Jesus' message - only the personal, private dimensions. Yes, Jesus loved me and wanted me to be good to my little brother and obedient to my parents. But Jesus' idea that God loves my nation's enemies, and so our foreign policies would reflect that love - that idea never crossed my mind. At some point, though, I began to get a hint that I was missing something. At that same moment, I think I began to catch a faint scent of the secret message of Jesus.

The Secret Message of Jesus, Brian D. McLaren, Thomas Nelson, 2006, p. 9-11.

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