Friday, July 9, 2010

Obama’s Problem with NASA Speaks to the Church

NASA used to be the sort of thing that kids dreamed about made real. We didn’t have to just imagine traveling through space, our nation had done it. We used to be able to put a man on the moon, and plans to colonize Mars were not just pipe dreams. The current administration has reduced our capacity to dream considerably.

Obama’s threefold charge to NASA is as follows: (1) Reinspire children to get into science and math. (2) Expand our international relationships. And last but not least (actually the foremost goal emphasized by Obama) “reach out to the Muslim world… to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science.”

No more is the goal of NASA to put a human on Mars, or even the moon. Even sending manned vehicles into orbit seems to be off of Obama’s agenda. That is a classic example of an organization losing its vision and purpose for being.

Any Christian aggravated by this development would do well to look at the state of American churches. They are in a similar situation. The primary purpose for which Christ instituted the church was to reach the world with the message of the cross. It is the primary message found in the Bible: God enacting His plan to redeem the world and repeatedly charging people to spread the news of that plan “to every nation, tribe, language and people.”

Today, American churches increasingly use their people, money and time to do things like build entertainment facilities for “members only,” broadcast television programs on stations that only Christians watch, and produce flashier and snazzier “worship” services that are hard to distinguish from entertainment. They are concerned with changing the culture not through the Gospel but rather legislation that tries to force “Christian” behavior on people who are not changed at a heart level.

NASA should be focused on space exploration and the Church should be focused on its missional message.

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