Here’s the Q:

I’ve just finished reading the above mentioned book. For the first few chapters I thought I’d missed something somewhere, and kept re-reading to make sure I hadn’t. I understand some of what you are trying to tell us, but I’m confounded by the fact that you grew up in a Christian church that didn’t do it’s job. I’ve attended many different denominational churches and some non-denominational, and have always learned that Jesus came to destroy the sin that began with Adam and Eve, and because He died on the cross, we now can go to live with Him forever. However, that’s not all that these churches taught. We as Christians have a duty, also, and that duty is to transform the world into a better place to live by feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, healing the sick, sheltering the homeless, etc, etc. In other words, bringing Heaven to Earth. By showing our love, just as you say Jesus taught, we can transform our world to be a peaceful place. When we, as Christians have done our job, then we most definitely are participating in the Kingdom of God. I’d hardly call this a secret. Not only does Jesus teach it in the Gospels, but we hear it from all the others who wrote the books of the New Testament.
The church I belong to now reaches out in love to feed on the average of 1200 people every month from our food pantry. No questions asked, and many of those who have been fed, are now part of our other worship programs. Our young people go out into the community in the summer, along with members of the local police department to help the elderly and poor with repairs and cleanup around their homes. And at least once a month, we have a flea market for local crafters to sell their wares and the people of our community to buy quality products at low prices. We are a small congregation, with big ideas, and our motto is Building Bridges to the Kingdom. Isn’t this what Jesus’ message was all about?

I agree that we don’t have to fight wars to conquer the world. Love conquers all. I’ve seen it happen in my life, one person at a time.

R: Just to clarify – the church I grew up in did its job in many ways. Most important, it exposed me to Jesus, to the Scriptures, and to many wonderful examples of Christian character and service.
Thanks for sharing the beautiful story of what your church is doing. I wish that churches like yours were as normative for everyone as yours is for you. Maybe someday they will be … thanks to the good example more and more churches are making of living out Jesus’ message of the kingdom of God, empowered by the Holy Spirit.