"Can Rick Warren save the world?"
That question was the subtitle from a Fox News special last night about Rick Warren and his plans for ending "poverty, disease, illiteracy, spiritual emptiness, and egocentric leadership."
Can Rick Warren make an impact in the world? Yes. Can Rick Warren make a positive influence? Yes. Can Rick Warren save the world? No. There is only one Messiah, and Rick Warren ain't him. I don't blame Rick Warren for the Fox News title. I'm sure he was embarrassed. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if Warren had a hand in Fox News changing it on their website (Check out before and after).
After attending the Presbyterian Global Fellowship, the offensive Fox News title was a good reminder of the dangers before us. Being missionally-minded must not become a righteouness based on our works. It is easy to be overwhelmed at the pain of the world. Likewise, it is easy to become prideful at our efforts to alleviate suffering. The focus then becomes us. Some might become self-righteous on their own good deeds, but the majority will become burned-out or guilt-ridden because they can't do enough.
Should we reject works? Do we ignore the call to be missional? Heaven forbid. Faith without works is dead, but we must be ever vigiliant to avoid idolatry. The Presbyterian Global Fellowship and our missional congregations must preach and teach the amazing grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ. We should see obedience to Christ and our good works as gratitude to God. The only way we can be "outwardly focused" is to be "inwardly strong."
I am not suggesting that the leadership of PGF intends anything amiss. I just know that they have hard work ahead of them. I pray for their wisdom and courage.
We cannot save the world. Thankfully, Jesus Christ can and has.