Pure and Simple


I was recently forced to retire one of my most cherished T-shirts to the rag bin. It read:

“To be is to do.” —Socrates
“To do is to be.” —Plato
“Do-be-do-be-do.” —Sinatra

Although the first two attributions may be disputed (some credit Sartre and Nietzsche), these conclusions represent the clashing perspectives on the true meaning of human existence. I am particularly drawn to Sinatra’s, as it best reflects the confusion many Christ followers experience in pursuit of true identity and worth.

Peter Burgo The sad truth is that although we are eager to acknowledge the centrality of Christ to the whole person, we continue to behave as though our position with Him is hopelessly dependent on our performance.

While this issue has hounded me for much of my Christian life, it hit me head-on when I heard Dr. Ron Walborn speak on how “bounded set” cultural experiences drive many of us toward performance-based spirituality. I invited Ron to share this message (“No More Faking It”), and I encourage you to read it prayerfully—at least twice—and ask yourself the tough questions about your true motive for doing good works. If it’s anything other than loving the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength and loving your neighbor as yourself, then you, like me, have some work to do. The good news? The work is not really ours to do at all, but Christ’s to do in us. We simply need to invite Him into our brokenness and allow Him to do His lovingly painful work of demolition and restoration.

So don’t be confused by what you read in the following pages. Yes, there’s a lot of doing going on. But be sure to read what’s beneath it.

Two Alliance worker couples are fully committed to help national pastors start churches in Burkina Faso and Mali. They do this not to become world-class church planters, but because they long to see people discover the rich life in Christ that will end their enslavement to the dark powers that rule the region.

Teams of Alliance workers and national believers are providing for the spiritual and physical needs of prison inmates who have been abandoned by everyone—including their own families. The team members do this not to ease their consciences but to ease the prisoners’ suffering with the presence of the Suffering Servant Himself.

Two U.S. Alliance churches placed themselves in the center of racial tension—not to earn a glowing endorsement from the mayor but to be Jesus’ instruments of peace in their troubled community.

So there it is, Alliance family. Great, Spirit-empowered works flowing out of our love for a great, Spirit-imparting God. Lord, may our motives for serving You remain that pure and simple.

Burgo Signature

Peter Burgo, Editor-in-Chief

2 responses to Pure and Simple

  1. Dear Peter,
    Yesterday, I was really down, unable to quiet myself and pray. Then the brand new May June A Life came in the mail. The articles, the quotes, everything ministered to my need for that day. Thanks for continuing to produce this magazine.
    Jean Meaney (mother of Leli Holmes)

  2. Thanks for recommending the “No Faking it” article. I’m not sure I would have read it otherwise, but thought it was excellent! That prompted me to read another article. Also excellent. Thanks for producing a quality publication that glorifies our God. What a mighty God we serve!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Past Alliance Life Issues


Get Involved...


We cannot “Live the Call Together” unless prayer is central to all we do.
Pray with us »


Is God calling you to service? We’re here to help you connect your passion with God’s purpose.
Serve with The Alliance »


Help build Christ’s Church by supporting the ministry and workers of The Alliance.
Give today »