Can followers of Jesus partner with people who don’t follow Jesus?

September 26, 2010

Despite how those who might see the question at hand as a foregone conclusion might answer it, is it possible?  Can followers of Jesus partner with those who don’t follow Jesus?

Tim Keller has an interesting quote on the topic:

[Since all humans are made in God’s image], nonbelievers will be better than any of their mistaken beliefs could make them.  [Since believers are still sinners], expect believers will be worse in practice than their orthodox beliefs should make them.  So there will be plenty of ground for respectful cooperation.

God help us remember our fallenness and the ubiquitously stamped image of God in humanity the next time we ask the cooperation question.  We are not so faultless.  They are not so lowly.  As C.S. Lewis says in The Weight of Glory:

The load, or weight, or burden, of my neighbour’s glory should be laid daily on my back, a load so heavy that only humility can carry it, and the backs of the proud will be broken.

As I engage in mission and declare the reign of Jesus through benefitting the city, I am learning to ask the question, “Who can I do this with?”


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