Kingdom Words, Kingdom Deeds

A lesser known evangelical declaration, the Manila Manifesto (1989) was adopted by the Second International Congress on World Evangelization  in Manila, Philippines.  Regarding the gospel and our social responsibility, I would like to post an excerpt:

The authentic gospel must become visible in the transformed lives of men and women. As we proclaim the love of God we must be involved in loving service, as we preach the Kingdom of God we must be committed to its demands of justice and peace.

Evangelism is primary because our chief concern is with the gospel, that all people may have the opportunity to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. Yet Jesus not only proclaimed the Kingdom of God, he also demonstrated its arrival by works of mercy and power. We are called today to a similar integration of words and deeds. In a spirit of humility we are to preach and teach, minister to the sick, feed the hungry, care for prisoners, help the disadvantaged and handicapped, and deliver the oppressed. While we acknowledge the diversity of spiritual gifts, callings and contexts, we also affirm that good news and good works are inseparable.

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One Comment on “Kingdom Words, Kingdom Deeds”

  1. Matthew James Says:

    Appreciated the post. This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, and hence the comment.

    My main thoughts have been centering around the responsibility of the corporate church to organize and carry-out “deed ministry” as opposed to the responsibility of the individual members of the church to be involved in deed ministry. What is your take on the proportions for this and the biblical/theological warrant for it?

    Part of my consideration comes from being involved in a church plant for 10 years that started out deeply committed to the priority of the gospel, but then eventually moving it to the periphery in favor of an exacerbating number of church run “deed events.” The amount of time and effort that church staff and volunteers put into organizing these events dwarfs the time spent personally investing in relationships with non-Christians or sharing the gospel with them in a personal way. Even their relationships with each other have become depersonalized, as there’s a group or a “ministry team” that’s now responsible for many of the acts of spontaneous love that would normally spring up between followers of Christ.

    If the corporate church believes that it is its responsibility to organize and facilitate deed ministry to some extent, do we have a biblical basis for where we draw the line? Is the better biblical position, just to leave it to the individuals, and informal groups of individuals.

    This is just another side observation, but it seems to be that in many ways, many churches have abdicated their gospel responsibilities and filled that vacancy by assuming responsibilities that God never intended–whether that’s certain types of deed ministry or micromanaging the lives of their members. It’s almost as if the church wants its main interactions to be with the world, and in doing so, heavily influences its members’ lives to be lived almost entirely within the church in order to provide fuel for a compromised machine. I wonder if many church leaders are not secretly envious of the enjoyments and praise of the world. It seems to me that many of them deeply desire the affirmation of their cities/surrounding cultures, and only indirectly seek the furtherance of the gospel. But now I digress.

    I would love to know your thoughts. I enjoy the site and resonate with your perspectives.


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