Out of Context: Rick McKinley

"I guarantee there isn't a homeless person in Portland who couldn't tell you the gospel verbatim. They've had to listen to it three times a day to get a sandwich. They've heard about Christ, but they haven't seen Christ. Who will sit next to them while they panhandle, who will enter their world? I've had friends doing that for 15 years. That is seeing the gospel."

-Rick McKinley serves as pastor of the Imago Dei Community in Portland, Oregon. Taken from "Dei Laborers" in the Fall 2007 issue of Leadership journal. To see the quote IN context, you'll need to see the print version of Leadership. To subscribe, click on the cover of Leadership on this page.

November 01, 2007

Displaying 1–10 of 26 comments

Melody

November 14, 2007  1:21pm

Lynda, can you help us with a chapter and verse where Jesus said, "beleive the best of every person"? Thanks.

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angie

November 13, 2007  9:58pm

we've got to stop analyzing the life out of good things. Helping the homeless is good. So go do it.

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Lynda

November 13, 2007  12:29pm

Is it possible with the mass confusion of different christian religions, Jesus' words in the gospels were taken out of context, after the gospels. Consider the word "Heathen". It was used a million times in the OT and a million times "after" the gospels. Jesus never pointed His finger at people and stated, "YOU HEATHEN"! Jesus stated, beleive the best of every person. Also, it is wicked, weak flesh that believes Jesus did not bind satan, posted "after" the gospels. Also, it is a respect issue, a "Hierarchy" that anyone would come to Jesus who became sin for us. Yes He was God in the flesh. But God in spirit is sinless. That is why we do not go directly to God.

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218Matt

November 12, 2007  11:45am

Rick, Thanks for clarifying your comments. I know you have a broad appreciation of what ministry is. I had the chance to meet you at Q, and I know some of the other ministry guys that you hang out with. Those relationships and desire to see a larger context for what it means to be "Christian" in this world are part of the significant conversation that is now taking place.

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UrL

November 10, 2007  9:51am

FROM THE EDITORS: We are glad that so many people are engaging this conversation, but Rick McKinley's comment above is a helpful reminder. This feature is, after all, called "Out of Context." The intention is not to present a fully developed idea with a well-rounded theological foundation, but to display the more provocative statements in the current issue of Leadership to ignite interest. McKinley's interview is worth reading in its entirety, and doing so would answer many of the questions posted above. The editors who visited Imago Dei and spoke with Rick were deeply impressed with both the ministry's passion for the marginalized and Rick's balanced understanding of the Gospel. Thanks for visiting Out of Ur, and keep up the conversation. UrL

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Rick McKinley

November 09, 2007  10:48pm

I just wanted to say that the comments were taken out of context. As I read my own words out of context I see that they come across as very arrogant. I want to make sure to say that I have a lot of respect for the local ministries here in Portland that are providing meals daily for our local homeless. I was not trying to imply that thier efforts were wrong or in some way not about the Gospel. I wanted to suggest that the church may do more along the way or relationship. Imago does not help that many homeless people on a weekly basis but those that we do help we find their greatest need is lonliness. I don't think that we should only serve people food when the listen to what we have to say. I think that reduces the Gospel. That is simply my opinion. I apologize for sounding as though I were putting down other ministries, I don't think the full article gave off that impression. There was no sense that I felt like we were trying to say were doing it better than others just perhaps with a different focus. When Leadership Journal asked to do an article I said yes and answered thier questions. I think they did a fine job on the article, but out of contextit may be causing some confusion as to what I was trying to say. Rick McKinley Imago Dei Community

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218Matt

November 09, 2007  10:08am

As a reader of LOTS of blog everyday, (I'm am church consultant) I can tell you that the base of this entire conversation is happening throughout the U.S. Christian church. What is interesting is that for the past 40 or 50 years the church was easily in two camps: Liberal and Evangelical. If you were liberal, you fed the homeless, and lived your faith, but did not talk about it. If you were Evangelical, you shared the gospel by your words. There were all the expected political positions and stands on issues that we grew up with. Evangelicals were republican, Liberals were democrats. What has happened is that the lines are gone. Someone who believes deeply in the inerrantcy of the Bible (former domain of the Evangelicals) is starting an intercity mission simply to meet physical needs. We have a very human need to be able to categorize people, groups and actions so that we feel we can make sense of our world. We are living in a time of redefining what it means to be a Christian.

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Darren King

November 08, 2007  7:10pm

Melody, no offense, but when it comes the following quote, I think the word "vehemenence" applies: "What is really pathetic here is the seeming need for this pastor to denigrate the ministry of others in order to elevate himself." And I just don't see what in Rick's comments would provoke such a _______ response. You pick you adjective.

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Melody

November 07, 2007  5:17pm

Darren, Methinks the word 'vehemence' is what in the publishing business is called 'purple prose' for overstating something. Where was my 'vehemence'? When I read this statement by Rick, "They've heard about Christ, but they haven't seen Christ", and it refers to the people who have been in the trenches giving the gospel along with bread and shelter, then maybe the word 'vehement' might apply. Leoskeo has responded beautifully. Would that my comments were as eloquent as his.

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Darren King

November 07, 2007  10:13am

Melody, Sorry if I misunderstood you but in your original comment you seemed very frustrated with Rick's post, when all he was calling for was loving, Christ-like action combined with gospel proclamation. I'm not sure what he said to provoke the vehemenence in your response.

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