The Great Omission

I apologize for posting my Wednesday book discussion post a day late! I had a computer malfunction that prevented me from posting it Wednesday morning. As always, thanks for coming by!

Welcome to our discussion of Richard Stearns’ book, The Hole in Our Gospel! My co-facilitator, Jason Stasyszen and I thoroughly enjoy our discussions about this book and we welcome you to stay and discuss the topics each week, whether you’ve read the chapter or not. Each week, we provide a link widget. This week, the link widget is at Jason’s site, Connecting to Impact. We ask that if you’ve written your own post on this chapter, you link it up there. And we invite and encourage you to read each of the entries there because we have such great contributors! We hope you enjoy the discussions and we hope you keep coming back to take part!

And now, we continue with Chapter 16, The Great Omission—

Writing these book discussions is mostly an enjoyable experience. Sometimes the readings have stepped on my toes and sometimes my schedule has been too busy to enjoy the process the way I’d like. But by and large, this book discussion is a highlight of my week. But this week, my overshadowing thought was how frustrating it is that the folks that are reading these posts are probably the ones that don’t need to read them. The ones that really need to hear the pleas are the folks that probably will never drop by and participate. With that said, please understand that I know that I’m mostly preaching to the choir. But preach, I must.

In this chapter, Stearns is talking about the Church again. He’s talking about the tragic and all too common occurrence of when the Church sets her priorities wrong. God’s words about this (Isaiah 1:10-17) are hard words and so are Stearns’:

“[God] is sick of churches and people who just ‘go through the motions.’ And He is weary of seeing a shiny veneer of faith but no depth of commitment. That is the hole in our gospel, and until we fill it, ours is an empty religion, one that God despises.”

In Matthew 23, Jesus points out the folks that ignore or forget justice, mercy, and faithfulness—all part of what we’re talking about here—and He calls them hypocrites. Those are hard words, but words that we need to hear and remember:

   23 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.”

Stearns brings us back to one of the defining scriptures of the essence of Christianity. James 1:27 tells us that “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

The thought that keeps ringing in my mind is yet another scripture:

“Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)

As a member of The Church—The Body of Christ—it’s my desire to keep my priorities in order. To lay my life down for others. To not be a hypocrite. To practice justice, mercy, and faithfulness. And to encourage all of you to do the same so that we can fill that hole in the gospel and make a lasting difference for the cause of Christ.

About Sarah Salter


  1. Late or not, glad you made it! I know what you mean about preaching to the choir. I’ve felt that way for sure, but then there’s the hope of simply encouraging each of us in our priorities and also maybe reaching someone who hadn’t thought of it in that particular way. Even still, it’s such a joy to see the various and diverse responses we each have to a given chapter. I love that!

    Thanks for encouraging us again, Sarah. Blessings!

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