"You know as an evangelical pastor, my deepest faith is in Jesus Christ,” Warren stated. “But you also need to know that I am committed not just to what I call the good news, but I am committed to the common good.”
- Rick Warren addressing Muslims at the ISNA Convention (Islamic Society of North America)
My question is when did the good news of the Gospel become different from the common good?
Romans 5:8 :But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
James 1:27 :Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, [and] to keep himself unspotted from the world.
Matthew 25:31-46 :"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.' 37Then the righteous will answer him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?' 40And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'
41"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.' 44Then they also will answer, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?' 45Then he will answer them, saying, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.' 46And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."
Matthew 5:13-16 :You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.
14 "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
I guess my main point is that there is no common good without God being glorified in it. All of our good works apart from a genuine relationship with Jesus Christ will not stand in the end. All those who are the beneficiaries of the "common good" and those who are the benefactors of the "common good" will perish eternally without the knowledge and salvation of the One who is Infinitely Gracious and Good - Jesus Christ
Therefore the greatest good we can do for all is to extend the good news of the Gospel to men, while displaying the light of the Gospel to them in our deeds.