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Matthew 25 

Rev Dr Donald Heinz 

            Last Fall, 2021, I began a discussion in Adult Forum of my forthcoming book Matthew 25 Christianity: Redeeming Church and Society. I will take this discussion to the next level during the first two Sundays in June, 2022. 

            I began with a textual study of Mt 25:31-46, Jesus’ story of last judgment with the test question: While on earth, did you recognize my presence among the least of these—the unhoused, the poor, the sick, the hungry, the imprisoned? I set this into the biblical context of God’s obsession with the poor. I moved to the way texts like this can “come true” as individuals and then new religious movements bring them to fruition in new times. I proposed the new understanding of love as justice, of a new social gospel, could bring about the redeeming of contemporary American Christianity. 

            In these coming two weeks, I move from the church gathered to the church sent, from Word to World, gospel to social gospel, to the redemption of American society, to the church sacramentalizing the world as the place where God touches down in the Incarnation that is Jesus Christ. We  conclude deliberating the daring question whether a Christian social gospel could or should become a social-economic-governmental New Deal. Whether the church, now more sure of itself, should enter into dialog and cooperation with secular reformers who might hint at a new left to be welcomed, not a “cultural Marxism” to be rejected. 

            Is it possible, or desirable, for congregations to self-designate as a Matthew 25 Congregation? And to move towards a new era of Matthew 25 Christianity as the response the times require, our “Bonhoeffer moment”? 

As an alternative to attending the meeting on Zoom, you may phone in by dialing 253-215-8782, Meeting ID 889 7318 2418 Passcode 507066