The Apostle John urged his “dear children” to “not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” (1 John 3:18)
The stress is on the word “and”:
Love with actions AND in truth.
In recent decades the American church has split into two camps: Actions OR Truth.
The authors of Churches that Make a Difference*, summarize this divide well: “One branch, quoting the Great Commission, claims nothing is as important as leading individuals to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.”
The other side “stresses that the calling of Christians is to care for those who are poor and to seek justice.”
Sider, Olson, and Unruh conclude: “Both sides have it partly right - but neither has the whole picture.” (p. 45)
The result is what they call “lopsided Christianity”.
As always, Jesus should be our role model. He found no conflict in balancing his time, energy, and attention between preaching “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is near” while also feeding the hungry, healing the sick, and setting the oppressed free from the demons seeking to ruin them.
Love in action AND truth.
Mission Resource International strives to maintain this balance in our own work. The Lord has given us the privilege to serve in places where we see hungry people fed, willing people employed, and lost people finding the Savior.
Your generous support keeps us moving forward, loving in action and in truth. Thank you!
*Ronald Sider, Philip Olson, and Heidi Unruh, Churches that Make a Difference, 2002