Quoted in Stott's book, 'American Futurologist Tom Sine's explanation: "We have been remarkably effective at diluting his (sc.Christ's) extremist teaching and truncating his radical gospel. This explains why we…make such an embarrassingly little difference in the morality of our society."' Stott continues, 'Our Christian habit is to bewail the world's deteriorating standards with an air of rather self-righteous dismay. We criticize it violence, dishonesty, immorality, disregard for human life, and materialistic greed…But whose fault is it? Who is to blame? Let me put it like this. If the house is dark when nightfall comes, there is no sense in blaming the house, for that is what happens when the sun goes down. The question to ask is "where is the light?"

The Church
Sad but true. We are our worst enemy. The saltshaker and its cap are the institution and its leaders. A new Christian once asked me to define church. I told him that the church is a group of people, saved by the grace of God, not a building or what we do on Sunday. Pete Hammond, published an article on the Ministry in Daily Life web-site, titled 'Where is the Church on Tuesday? At work in the World'. We do not play church on Sunday and our Christian life does not concentrate on that particular day either. The Church is in the world from Monday to Saturday. We come back to gather on Sunday, to renew our spiritual focus, to encourage each other, so that we are recharged again to face the challenges of the world, the following week. We sing songs of praise on Sunday. We actually worship God all week through, in our work, in our service to others, in our quiet moments in prayer and solitude, in our play and enjoyment.

We have also many times used the term 'full-time service' to mean for people who are in Christian vocations, such as pastors, missionaries etc. However, this is really not a true reflection of biblical principles. All Christians, no matter what vocation we are in, should be in 'full-time service' in God's kingdom.

There is also another grave separation between the ordained and the laity. In the Ministry in Daily Life newsletter dated 17
th July, Pete Hammond has these comments:

"Many of the terms we use suffer from misuse and confusion. I am particularly displeased with the term "Laity." It is not a Biblical term, although many believe it comes from the Greek word "laos" found in 1 Peter 2:9-10. This Biblical term refers to all the people of God, whereas laity is an extra-biblical historical term that identifies only the "non-ordained" members of the body of Christ. It is also a very demeaning term. Webster's Dictionary defines one of its meanings as "uniformed and not involved." How's that for describing 99% of the Lord's people?!"

Continue on next page

Articles / Editorial