Why Misrepresenting Jesus Harms the Poor

Mez McConnell | February 4, 2016

Between my time church planting in Brazil and my work in Edinburgh in one of Scotland’s most deprived housing “schemes”—a mixture of social housing and low-income homeowners—I’ve been on the receiving end of a lot of short-term missions teams. And while I appreciate the help, I’ve noticed over the years that a lot of well-meaning, Jesus-loving groups from the United Kingdom and United States will show up with their paintbrushes and hammers, but with little understanding of the gospel they’ve come to proclaim.

The gospel is good news, the best news in fact. It is essential that we both get the message correct and also keep it in the proper place. If we get the message wrong, it’s like taking corrupted medicine: it can’t heal you. If we put other things in the gospel’s priority of place, it’s like buying a diamond engagement ring but forgetting to buy a diamond: we’re left with a setting that beautifully displays . . . nothing.

We must be willing to take the time to get the message right and to communicate it faithfully. Here are five reasons why:

1. Because Eternity Matters Most 

The gospel addresses all of life, both in this life and the…

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