|N.T. Wright in Surprised by Hope|
When we place an emphasis on "good news" for the next life and de-emphasize the needs that people have in this life; when our actions say that "good news" is for this group of people, but not those people; we are not preaching Good News, but ideology. And as long as we do that, culture will continue to eat our ideology for lunch (thanks for that line Richard Rohr!) as people look for meaning, purpose and hope elsewhere.
Often in our faith culture, we put too much emphasis on sin, using that to define who should be "in" and who is "out," which then defines who can receive the Good News. But that is putting the cart before the horse.
Richard Rohr and Rob Bell discussed in a recent podcast, that when we begin sharing the good news with original sin, it actually starts the story on chapter 3. Chapter 1 begins with original blessing; being created in God's image as a masterpiece, deeply loved and cherished by our Creator. The fact is that the Gospel and the Good News is not that we are dirty, rotten, broken, disgusting sinners that Jesus came to save. It is instead that we are beautiful, dearly loved, created in the Divine's image, "very good" creations who have wandered from that true identity and Jesus came to bring us back.
THAT is good news that is for everyone and that should dictate how we live and love and serve and give and work to bring Christ's Kingdom here on earth. And if the Church can move fully in that mission, value and meaning will be restored to the gathering of God's people.
How do you define the Good News?
And how does that definition play itself out in your life?