This morning I met with a Christian entrepreneur who has been in sales for many years. He is one of the publishers of "Life cont.", a Christian outreach tool printed to look like a pull out section of another newspaper. It has no masthead. It's edition name is always "Todays Edition." If people want information, they are directed to the website, www.lifecont.com where they find, among other things, a list of churches in the areas where Life cont. is distributed.
The entrepreneur, Rick Olson, told me that the goal of the paper is to reach hurting people who don't usually come to church. Life cont. is made available in bulk for free, through churches and sympathetic businesses. It's like a tract because it's meant to be left out in public places for people to find. Because it looks like a newspaper section, many people pick it up.
Jesus said we are to be "as wise as serpents" and "as innocent as doves" Mt 10:16. I think the purpose of Life cont. is great, but I do think people should know where it comes from. Rick left a stack of Life cont. in our church office. If you want one or more to hand out or leave in places where you think they might do some good, feel free to pick one up.
I encourage you, however, before you give it to anyone else, to read it through. A couple of things in the current issue* are written in ways that I have problems with. Still, in certain settings, it might be helpful. God's word is so powerful that it uses imperfect means to get into the world all the time. It's amazing. God even uses me.
Pray that the Lord would use Life cont. to bring many to Jesus for forgiveness, healing and salvation. And let me know what you think!
* The top headline of the issue of Life cont. I have on my desk, for example, says Is Your Family Normal? and has a picture of a young family with four kids, all smiles. I understand that the publishers are trying to get people to remember God's plan for the family instead of assuming that "normal" is how things are at home, no matter how unloving or unfaithful that may be. As I wrote to Rick yesterday: "Your front page is excellent for people who are already on the way with an 'okay' marriage and who are just looking for guidance. On the other hand, people who have already fallen short of that design from the Lord would feel the heavy hand of God’s LAW instead of Gospel..."
Secondly, on the last page, there is a piece on Heaven and Hell that describes heaven as, for example, having "walls" and "gates" in literal terms. I understand Revelation 21:10-24 as figurative rather than literal language.