I recently had a friend ask me a question about a verse in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. Paul will have passages where every verse seems to have different possible interpretations and where they can seem impossibly difficult. As I was researching this complicated passage, I couldn’t help but think “The Old Testament is so much simpler!”
In 1 Corinthians 9:19-23, the Apostle Paul talks about being “all things to all people.” In the rest of the passage, he talks about different groups with whom he demonstrates this. While that passage is not an exhaustive guide to ministry, it provides significant insights into how to reach people for Jesus.
Based on studying this passage, and thinking of this in the ministry context of the Bible, I have five reflections over the past few weeks on what it is to be “all things to all people.”
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has come under fire at the Democratic National Convention for investing abroad. Yesterday, Ted Strickland, the former governor of my home state of Ohio used the Bible in his criticism of Romney.
Mitt Romney has so little economic patriotism that even his money needs a passport. It summers on the beaches of the Cayman Islands and winters on the slopes of the Swiss Alps. In Matthew, chapter 6, verse 21, the scriptures teach us that where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. My friends, any man who aspires to be our president should keep both his treasure and his heart in the United States of America. … Barack Obama is betting on the American worker. Mitt Romney is betting on a Bermuda shell corporation. Barack Obama saved the American auto industry. Mitt Romney saved on his taxes. Barack Obama is an economic patriot. Mitt Romney is an outsourcing pioneer.
Growing up in a foreign land, being expected to abide by another culture’s customs, and eventually being forced to leave the place which had become home. These are all issues which Dr. James K. Hoffmeier faced while growing up in Egypt as the son of American missionaries. Political pressure would end up causing the revocation of his family’s visas and he again became an alien in Canada.