Shane Clairborn recently made the following comment:
We have to see our faith not as an excuse to get into heaven and ignore the world around us but really a way of engaging the world that we live in.
I think there’s two different issues here. First, we are justified by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:1, Ephesians 2:5) No amount of works justifies us. Faith is not an excuse to get into heaven, it is the way to get into heaven. Now, it’s hard to figure out exactly what the context of this quote is, so I’m hesitant to say that I disagree with Clairborn.
For the second part of that quote, I think I agree with Clairborn. As Christians, we are in the world, not of the world. Being in the world means that we need to engage the world. Clairborn uses Matthew 25 as an example. I really like this example and have been using it as a model for my ministry.* We don’t sit in our church with our fingers covering our eyes. We are to go out and feed the hungry, visit the sick and dying, visit those in prison. We do this not to earn salvation. We do this because we have been saved.
You can read the full article from the Christian Post here.
*You can debate the use of Matthew 25 as a model of ministry with me. Just note, I do not discount the eschatological thrust of the passage.