Before jumping headfirst into this series, I wish to give a disclaimer and a warning. I know that I as I begin this series that there will be those who disagree with what I have to say. I am fine with that. My bigger fear is that I will be misunderstood.
I know that at the end of my last post, I mentioned about ministries with a mix of humanitarian work and Gospel proclamation. I am not entirely opposed to those ministries. I think many of them do wonderful jobs at getting the Gospel out. My home church supports one such ministry so I in turn, support them as well. I voted to support them and my missions giving goes towards them. So again, I am not 100% against such a ministry when done in the right way.
There is a danger with such ministries and there is history to back up this point. Often, when a ministry mixes Gospel proclamation with humanitarian aid; it becomes less and less about the Gospel and more and more about humanitarian aid. It does not have to be that way but to reiterate the point: it often does.
One example is the Salvation Army. The Salvation Army was started by William Booth back in 1865 to bring salvation to the poor, destitute and hungry. They wanted to meet both physical and spiritual needs of people. Many great preachers were saved through the preaching and efforts of the Salvation Army. But now, it is known as a Christian charity and not for their preaching.
Another example is the YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association). The YMCA was again founded to help both social and spiritual needs of specifically young men coming from rural areas to the city. They gave out Gospel tracts and preached on the streets. They provided recreation to help keep these young men out of trouble. Now, the YMCA is known more a gym than a place the Gospel is preached.
Herein lies the danger of mixing the Gospel and social help. It becomes much more about social causes than about the Gospel. I believe that will not happen with the ministry that I know of but I know that with many ministries that are around today; it will be.