Watering Down the Gospel

Dscf0481 Dscf0482_1Steam Lois and I took a little time away in Wisconsin this weekend. What a beautiful state! It's incredible living in Minnesota, with all it has to offer, and then to be so close to Wisconsin...icing on the cake. On a getaway like this, we love hiking, working (I've been working on the 2007 message schedule and Lois is doing teacher work), watching movies at night and other stuff.

We were hiking Friday and talking about the kinds of things the "Go" series is about. Lois said, "We've been watering down the gospel for too long. We get loving God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, but we don't love our neighbor as ourselves. We get the part about loving God, but we make it an internal thing that's safe. We neglect the active part of it that Jesus called us to do, like caring for the poor. No, I've watered down the gospel like that." I thought that was an interesting take on the idea of "watering down the gospel."

The irony is that she's already doing everything I'm going to be talking about in this series. There's an old youth camp song with the refrain, "Please don't send me to Africa." The song's about the fear many people have that God will send them to some far off place if they yield their lives to his leadership. Well, Lois would go in a flash. She was born in Africa, and she always hoped we'd end up doing international ministry. To this day I think she feels she would have found greatest fulfillment in that context.

But she's not sitting around pining for something she didn't do. She's on the go with Jesus right here and now. She's one of my "Go" heroes. But here's another irony: most of the people who went out of their way to call me or pull me aside to tell me how much my first "Go" message challenged them were among my other "Go" heroes. I'm watching and learning from them.