At closer inspection the prioritist call for the church to trump humanitarian aid for the sake of evangelism is not as pious as it may sound. A theology is only worth the community which can embody it. I am willing to wager that the same zeal extreme prioritists apply to mission work – cutting humanitarian services for exclusively evangelistic ones – is kept at bay from creating major disruptions in their own lives. Where do they invest their time? Their money? Their career or credentials? How much is discarded into the stuff of life (housing, repairs, mortgages, food, family, leisure, entertainment, rest) and how much is salvaged for the true eternal work of evangelism? Are they as faithful to route out all “superflous waste” in their own lives as they seek to impress upon all missions endeavours?
I would suspect that there are in truth two theologies at work here. One emphatically endorses the goodness of God’s creation and gifts, his present Lordship, and worship which extends to all areas of life. Another, with dogged fidelity to a sacred/ secular dichotomy, in which creation and its cares are the irrelevant trimmings of souls and the afterlife. I pity the recipients of the latter.