Bait-and-Switch?By David Burnette
In chapter 9 of What is the Mission of the Church? Kevin DeYoung and Greg Gilbert talk about why sharing the gospel in the context of doing good deeds need not be considered a “bait-and-switch” tactic:
“Sharing the good news of Jesus Christ is an act of deep love and compassion for that person. So the argument that one act of love and compassion (evangelism) can’t legitimately be accompanied by other, less important, act of love and compassion doesn’t hold water. Christians, as we’ve seen, are to love the whole person, and therefore it makes perfect sense to love someone by giving him food and at the same time to love him in a different, higher way by giving him the gospel. There’s no bait-and-switch there; that’s simply holistic compassion – compassion for the whole person, not just part of him.” (228)
Concerning the last sentence in their quote above, DeYoung and Gilbert point to the following work as a helpful resource for thinking through the sometimes difficult question of how to best serve the poor: When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor…And Yourself.