yahannan.jpg If we intend to answer man’s greatest problem—his separation from the eternal God—with rice handouts, then we are throwing a drowning man a board instead of helping him out of the water.

– K.P. Yohannan

The profundity of this quote, whilst short, is great. In todays age of “Red-Letter/Social gospelites” (spear headed by Mr. Campolo), this quote succinctly highlights the problem of social action without the true gospel. I was in Malawi this summer and driving through the villages in the Northern territory opened my eyes to something I had always felt deep inside. I saw en mass poverty, suffering and disease and witnessed the great humanitarian need these people have. However something deeper struck my soul as I gazed out my window at the crowds. That something was that many people I saw were Muslims and Pagans. It suddenly hit me that these people needed the bread of life as much, if not more, as they did real bread. To fail to point the needy to Christ is a horrible, horrible error and is not loving. Social action supports the gospel; it does NOT REPLACE it. Christ came to save sinners. What is love? “That while we were still sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:7-8). Are you going to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and pull a man out of the water into eternity; or are you going to give him rice, temporarily leaving him with a satisfied belly and a smile, yet leaving him as much in his sin and darkness as he was before? For if a man remains in this state then all that awaits is eternal condemation due to his unrepentant heart and absence of leaning on Jesus as his saviour….be he rich or poor, black or white.


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