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Health Care Missions and the Kingdom of God al Sensitivity in Medical Missions W Michael Smith, MDiv, DMin.

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Presentation on theme: "Health Care Missions and the Kingdom of God al Sensitivity in Medical Missions W Michael Smith, MDiv, DMin."— Presentation transcript:

1 Health Care Missions and the Kingdom of God al Sensitivity in Medical Missions W Michael Smith, MDiv, DMin

2 This session asserts that… Virtually every aspect of the ministry of Jesus was shaped by his vision of the Kingdom of God. In our health ministries, that same vision should define our goals, methodologies, and ways of relating with those we serve and with our co-workers

3 Personal journey (Just FYI) Pastor in US church – 2 years Ethiopia – 3 ½ years Indonesia – 7 years Teaching in seminary – 4 ½ years US-based roles in international mission – 20+ years First bunch of years: Evangelism & church planting Bottom line: Promoting the growth of Christ’s Church among the nations.

4 btw, If you want slides or references GMHC Exhibit: Bread for the World - #

5 Pivotal story # 1 A card left in the restroom asked: “Do you know where you will spend eternity?” Folks outside the restaurant don’t know where they’ll spend the night Our culture has us ask, “Which is more important?”

6 The 2 nd story Several years ago, a District Health Commissioner in Kenya was asked to approve a new health project asked: How will your work be different than the missionaries before you? They built clinics - They are in disrepair They converted my people - They still live in poverty & disease

7 What does each say… About what delights God’s heart? About our understanding of the Good News?

8 Personal Internal conflict Good News = forgiveness of sins and hope of eternity with God Yet healing and hope on this planet matters to God

9 Might this be the key? The Good News of the Kingdom of God

10 Clearly important to Jesus The Kingdom - central theme of Jesus’ ministry In gospels at least 122 times 90 from Jesus’ lips Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.“ Mark 1:14 & 15

11 So, in this session we intend to: Glimpse how Jesus understood the kingdom and the place of healing Identify perspectives on the kingdom that may fog or hinder our healthcare ministries Outline a vision of the kingdom that can give focus and power to our healthcare missions Explore the relationship between evangelism and healthcare missions Collectively identify resources and networks that clarify our vision and strengthen our practice.

12 Great expectations – 3 factors Roman tyranny over Palestine Crushed for 30 years Augustus Ceasar, “Son of God” Hebrew people – destiny & hope God of all the world – Israel will be blessing Delivered from slavery (Egypt) & exile (Babylon) God will do it again! The YHWH factor

13 When God comes back as King Deep tradition – God alone is our king Psalm 95:3 For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods. After years led by judges, “'We ought to have a king like the other nations.” Deut. 17:14 Some faithful and some not A movement looking for God to intervene and become their king

14 The Kingdom = God as King: What that meant to Jesus When God is in charge, what is it like? (N.T. Wright) Destination - Shalom – peace; all are “flourishing” The path – doing justice: restoring the ravages of evil & brokenness: Isaiah 29:18 In that day the deaf will hear the words of the scroll, and out of gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind will see.19 Once more the humble will rejoice in the LORD; the needy will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. 20 The ruthless will vanish, the mockers will disappear, and all who have an eye for evil will be cut down-- 21 those who with a word make a man out to be guilty, who ensnare the defender in court and with false testimony deprive the innocent of justice. Isaiah 35:6 Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert. 7 The burning sand will become a pool…

15 Prophets – the Contrast When God is NOT in charge… God’s faithful complained: 'Why do we fast and you don't look our way? Why do we humble ourselves and you don't even notice?‘ So you want to know? "Well, here's why: "The bottom line on your 'fast days' is profit. You drive your employees much too hard. 4 You fast, but at the same time you bicker and fight. You fast, but you swing a mean fist. The kind of fasting you do won't get your prayers off the ground. 5 Do you think this is the kind of fast day I'm after: a day to show off humility? To put on a pious long face and parade around solemnly in black? Do you call that fasting, a fast day that I, God, would like? When I’m in charge: 6 "This is the kind of fast day I'm after: to break the chains of injustice, get rid of exploitation in the workplace, free the oppressed, cancel debts. 7 What I'm interested in seeing you do is: sharing your food with the hungry, inviting the homeless poor into your homes, putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad, being available to your own families. Isaiah 58:3-8 –The Message

16 You’d better get this right A warning: 1 Listen to this, family of Israel, this message I'm sending in bold print, this tragic warning: "Seek me and live. 5 Don't fool around at those shrines of Bethel. You don't want to end up with nothing to show for your life but a pile of ashes, a house burned to the ground. You know who you’re messing with? You're in a cosmos star-flung with constellations by God, A world God wakes up each morning and puts to bed each night. God dips water from the ocean and gives the land a drink. God does all this. 9 And he can destroy it as easily as make it. He can turn this vast wonder into total waste. Here’s the scoop: 22 I want nothing to do with your religion projects, your pretentious slogans and goals. I'm sick of your fund-raising schemes, your public relations and image making. 23 I've had all I can take of your noisy ego-music. 24 Do you know what I want? I want justice - oceans of it. I want fairness - rivers of it. That's what I want. That's all I want. Amos 5:1-24 – The Message

17 After that drum roll, Jesus arrives Here’s how he explains his mission: He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read.17 The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: 18"The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed,19to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, 21 and he began by saying to them, "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.“ Luke 4:16-21

18 Finally, God is back as King Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.“ Mark 1:14 & 15 Good News = In me (Jesus) the kingdom of God is breaking in

19 John wasn’t sure: How can we tell? When John’s disciples asked if Jesus was “the one…”, Jesus answered : “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have good news brought to them.” (Matthew 11:5 and Luke 7:22)

20 Defining the kingdom Jesus never defines it But when he taught his disciples to pray: Your kingdom come. (which means) Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Matthew 6: 9-13

21 Makes us nervous Isn’t that “social gospel”? PERSONAL BELIEF BIBLE STUDY PRAYER WORSHIP PURITY HEAVEN EVERYBODY HAS HOME KIDS HAVE FOOD WORKERS TREATED RIGHT NO TRAFFICKING NO RACISM GOOD EDUCATION NO LOWER CLASS

22 Jesus saw them inseparable - - both essential Love God fully >< Love Neighbor as self PERSONAL BELIEF BIBLE STUDY PRAYER WORSHIP PURITY HEAVEN EVERYBODY HAS HOME KIDS HAVE FOOD WORKERS TREATED RIGHT NO TRAFFICKING RACIAL EQUALITY GOOD EDUCATION NO LOWER CLASS

23 Radical self-giving love is key Love God fully >< Love Neighbor as self PERSONAL BELIEF BIBLE STUDY PRAYER WORSHIP PURITY HEAVEN EVERYBODY HAS HOME KIDS HAVE FOOD WORKERS TREATED RIGHT NO TRAFFICKING RACIAL EQUALITY GOOD EDUCATION NO LOWER CLASS

24 The heart of the kingdom “If you’re following Jesus you’d better look good on wood.” Cross and Kingdom inseparable Begins with brokenness You cannot break brokenness. Cannot defeat defeat. Turns every obstacle into a stepping stone Self-giving love is the life-giving spirit of the universe. The kingdom of God has come!

25 Another pivotal story Conversation with Bob Russell, senior pastor SECC Struggling with ways we split up the gospel I envision a time 30 years from now… why lower rates of: ̵ Unemployment- Drug addiction ̵ Teen pregnancy- School drop-outs ̵ Domestic violence- Divorce ̵ Suicide- Poverty ̵ Violent crime- Homelessness ̵ Drug addiction- STDs Thy will be done in Louisville as in heaven.

26 What it looks like When God is in charge in 2013 God’s people CALLED TOGETHER: Worship, study, prayer, community An example of what life is like with God is King God’s people SENT OUT : Announcing that God’s Way has come and as Agents of God’s way where: Equality & fairness – not domination Trust – not fear The outcasts go first – not last Generosity – not greed Humility & respect – not arrogance Hospitality – not hatred Peacemaking – not war Hope - not despair “Sinners” welcomed & loved – not judged & rejected Uniting – not dividing Truth – not deception Health – not disease & brokenness Abundance – not scarcity

27 ?? Healthcare & the Kingdom Healing happens when God is in charge: Jesus instructed the 12 on their mission (same as his own) As you go, preach this message: 'The kingdom of heaven is near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. Matthew 10:7, 8 Healing is essential, integral - - First rate “Good Newsing”

28 Holistic nature of disease, illness HIV & AIDS - Illustrates the Integral Nature of Human Brokenness – Physical - Ravages of disease, vulnerability – Spiritual - Those engaging promiscuity, unfaithfulness - Those oppressing women & girls - Powerless women & girls - Despair – Relational - Alienation from family, friends, neighbors – Emotional - Shame / stigma (two-edged sword) – Economic - Can’t work – Nutritional - Can’t eat, can’t afford to feed family – Educational – Children can’t go to school – Environmental – No resources for preservation – Cyclical/generational - Children “cursed” for generations

29 Only a holistic salvation will do If human brokenness is so comprehensive Only a holistic, integrated, transforming Gospel will do Key Greek word for salvation: “sozo” bring...safely cured get well kept from danger or destruction made well preserved recovered restored to health Jesus is Juru Selamat Utamakan Selamat

30 Health care in kingdom context Working together as a seamless whole SPIRITUAL TRANSFORMATION ESSENTIAL CLINICAL SERVICES PRIMARY EDUCATION DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY HEALTH CORE VALUES The Gospel The Poor Health Kingdom Ethics LEADERSHIP TRAINING Dr. Raju Abraham Kachhwa Christian Hospital Transformational Ministries

31 Two different paths IFTHEN Good News is primarily about life after death Health mission is a means to a spiritual evangelization Evangelism is proclamation toward a spiritual conversion Health ministries are good thing to do but secondary Good News of the Kingdom begins with God’s will done on earth as in heaven Ministries of healing and promoting health are a core expression of Good News Evangelism is the integrated tasks of proclaiming, healing and setting free as Jesus practiced and taught Health ministries are a primary expression of what happens when “God is in charge”

32 A subversive movement “Thy kingdom come” a subversive statement Destabilizes We want a “spiritual” savior - we got a political one “Christians have a long history of trying to squeeze Jesus out of public life and reduce him to a private little Savior. But to do this is to ignore what the Bible really says. Jesus talks a great deal about the kingdom of God -- and what he means by that is a public life reorganized toward neighborliness” Walter Brueggemann – “The Liturgy of Abundance, The Myth of Scarcity”

33 So we don’t “build” the kingdom Good News! It is already here. Breaking in from the Future We believe it – it is the WAY We turn around (repent) from following NOT-THE-WAY We persist in learning (disciples) together how to live into this reality The Kingdom – THE WAY – re-orders everything EVERYTHING !

34 Even influences government Building public and political will to end hunger Collective Christian Voice Stewards of our citizenship Accountable “…the least of these…”

35 In groups of 3, pray and talk about how approaching your medical mission with 1 or 2 of these Kingdom traits in mind might change your work. – Equality & fairness – not domination – The poor go first – not last Trust – not fear – Generosity – not greed Self-giving love – not fearful hate – Humility & respect – not arrogance – Hospitality – not hatred Peacemaking – not war – Hope - not despair Truth – not deception – “Sinners” welcomed & loved – not judged & rejected – Uniting – not dividing – Health – not disease & brokenness

36 Let us pray as Jesus taught us Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For yours is the kingdom and the power and glory, forever. Amen

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