Christianity 201

June 1, 2011

Cross Cultural Beatitudes

I have no objection to people using the “forms” of some classic Bible passages and allowing them to be updated, or in this case made into something that reflects the passion of world mission.  What I objected to with this one was that on the final stanza, they turned it into a commercial for their particular mission agency.  (I did not reprint that here, nor credit them.)  If you want to update The Lord’s Prayer or The 23rd Psalm, that’s fine, but don’t cheapen the exercise by rendering the whole thing as a slogan for a particular cause.  Still, I guess seven out of eight ain’t bad.

The Luke and Matthew versions of the original beatitudes vary.  Here’s an interesting quote from Wikipedia:

According to The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church, the blessings in the Bible under Luke refer to spiritual rewards that will be bestowed upon sufferers of external tribulations while those in Matthew refer to the rewards waiting to those who suffer internal, spiritual and/or moral conflicts, in either case it is speculated that they represented a deliberate inversion of perception of commonplace “blessings” and “sorrows” at the time.

So what do you think of the text that follows?  It makes some good points — I wouldn’t have placed it here at all if I didn’t think it has value — but does it cross a line framing its message in a kind of pseudo-scripture?  Or is that the best way to make its point?

Blessed are those who live each day with eternity in view,
For in looking back on life there will be no regrets.

Blessed are those who embrace a vision greater than themselves,
For what they give their lives to will endure forever.

Blessed are those who are passionate about the world to come,
For assembled will be every tribe, nation, people and language.

Blessed are those who leave houses and land for the 10/40 Window,
For there most of the unfinished task remains, but laborers are few.

Blessed are those who commit to staying for the long term,
For cross-cultural effectiveness increases with time.

Blessed are those who are committed to prayer and small groups,
For in those contexts lives are forever changed.

Blessed are those who serve with a vibrant, caring, visionary team,
For in the midst of healthy community, results dramatically increase.