Below is a response to a reader that felt that the authors of The Echo Life were in danger of losing focus upon the Gospel and were falling into idolatry by an overemphasis upon health, wellness, fitness, stewardship, etc.
In response, we wanted to make some things clear:
A note to our readers from the creators of The Echo Life: We welcome and encourage criticism (and encouragement) from our readership. When being criticized, we are given the chance to reflect upon our motives and character, and we are given opportunity to grow. The series of critiques from “Nun” have given the three of us great encouragement to express the calling that our Lord, Jesus Christ, has put upon our hearts for The Echo Life. Now, more than ever, we are encouraged to share our hearts on the reasons we do what we do.
In light of these reflections, we do have a few things we would like to share.
We feel the above comment reflects a great misunderstanding in the nature of The Echo Life.
We would like to be clear: Nothing is more important than our relationship with Christ, the relationship made possible by His cruciform love displayed on the cross and the atoning sacrifice for our sins made possible in this very historical event. In comparison, all other things fade in His glorious light, this certainly includes our passion for The Echo Life.
With that in mind, we offer the following point of clarity. The Echo Life stands as a ministry mainly for the Church, those who have already been saved by grace through faith and wish to continue to grow by God’s sanctifying grace. While we do promote the stewardship of the body, we do not promote it as a means of salvation. First things being first, all the fitness exercises in the world matter nothing without grace and holy-love. Only after we are saved can we join with Him in His meaningful good works, the works we choose to be our focus of our conversation here at The Echo Life, works that include stewardship of our bodies, our earth, and our neighbor for the sake of the Kingdom people of God.
Let us state this without qualification, lest we be misunderstood. All three of us wish to be called to task if we ever lose sight of this, and we can only pray that God would, in His mercy, redirect our motives and character. Let us also say in all sincerity: May our bodies suffer great and terrible things before we lose Christ. We put nothing before Him. He is everything.
Having made this abundantly clear, we will say continue: Because we respect God’s good work in creation, we will do our best to be good stewards of all things He gives us and to share our passion as such. We do not take for granted the privileges God has given us.
To further clarify our motives, let it be known that The Echo Life exists as a very small portion of our greater ministry work. The three of us are sacrificing our “free time” to this blog. We are not being paid for this, and it is certainly not our main ministry. It is a small part of a greater whole. We do take seriously our call to preach the message of Christ, and EVERYTHING that He taught us. However, The Echo Life is not our only, or even our main avenue for doing so. Our primary ministries are our means of evangelism.
If The Echo Life was our main ministry, we might understand the accusation that we are falling short of our call, but that is not the nature of this blog, which is our sharing of a very specific conversation the three of us have been engaged in for some time. In time, it might become more, but, as is, we are not using this as an evangelical tool to win souls to Christ, not to say that we do not believe Christ is reflected here and could be used to bring some to Him. We do not believe God has created this project for such a task (as of yet). Instead, this is our way of feeding and taking care of our own, the Christian community, the Church, by sharing with the Church what we prayerfully understand as our full potential.
In other words, while this blog emphasizes health and fitness, it is not our purpose to suggest that this is the main focus of the Bible. Instead, this, in our opinion, is a conversation that is long overdue. it is a conversation the Church has to have, and we are not ashamed to allow the conversation to be public. It is one conversation of many, and is not meant to be a full on ministry (as of yet). This is certainly a public blog and we know that persons that are not in the Christian community will see the conversation, but that does not negate the fact that we can and should have the discussions with our brothers and sisters that God has laid upon our hearts. In fact, we should live our faith publicly.
As a service to the Body of Christ, we talk about the Christian journey, not just the beginning of the journey and the crucial, crisis moments of salvation, but the daily walk we experience with Christ as we move in His sanctifying grace. So, in case we have been negligent in explaining this reality, we offer the above.
To summarize, this is a specific conversation assuming a basis in foundational Christianity. This is a ministry of uplifting the church and not so much about evangelism. However, we do believe it benefits evangelism as it promotes Christians to be better disciples who make disciples. We, the creators of this blog, do not deny the importance of evangelism and we are highly engaged elsewhere. This blog does not, therefore, encompass our ministry efforts. It is a small part that is well within our calling as disciples.
The foci of The Echo Life are very important, and we will not apologize for speaking on such matters, but that is not to suggest that we do not think there are other topics that are just as important, or even more important, than what we speak of here.
To God be the glory.