I Cannot Keep Silent!

I have held off for a while….apparently my words were making some people, umm, uncomfortable. But I can no longer just  sit here and not say anything concerning the evangelical romp through the moral, ethical, and political swamp.

I have said it before and I will say it again, the Evangelical church in America has lost its gospel centered compass. How can I say such a thing when the evangelical church is at the forefront  in the culture war which consists of fighting against the encroachment of evolutionary thought, godlessness running rampant in the public schools, sexual immorality everywhere, and gasp…godless socialists trying to take over the government.

How indeed? Well, all those previously stated issues have nothing to do with the gospel. The gospel is the good news that while we are still f***-ups God became one of us to save us from ourselves by taking all our sins upon Himself. Then He offers forgiveness, freedom, and grace to those that are His. Then He tells us to live in such a way that those whom have not yet experienced the forgiveness and grace He gives, will ask us how they can have this freedom too.

How do we do that? By living out this unconditional love toward others. “But what about their sin?”, some of the more righteous among us may sputter. And the answer to that is better left to Paul the apostle, rather than me…
“FOR WHAT HAVE I TO DO WITH JUDGING OUTSIDERS…” In other words leave their sin to God, and His Holy Spirit and follow the command Jesus has set before us to “LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOU LOVE YOURSELF.” Why is this such a hard thing for Christians to understand?

What does it look like for the Christian to live this way…

Rather than condemning the gay or lesbian person with hateful rhetoric and you would love them and support them as equal human beings not as second class deviants. Rather than seeking to get rid of, through violence and vitriolic condemnation, the rights of a woman as allowed in this country, you would work together with pro-choice individuals to reduce the number of abortions through comprehensive abstinence and safer sex teaching for young people.  Rather than taking a stand against hate and bullying laws because they protect ALL people, you would get involved in writing curriculum and promoting better ways for people to understand and treat each other in the school and the community.  Rather than voting against health care reform because you don’t want to help “those people” you would seek to understand the plight of the poor and create a program at your church that adopts one, two or three families a year from your community and helps them to get out of the grip of poverty through financial, educational, and life skill teachings. You would cease parroting the mindless declamations of the Republican party against the President and begin to pray for him. You would stop supporting the politically driven agendas of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, et al and begin to tell other Christians that they must begin to think on their own and in doing so remove the poison  of politics that has corrupted the Gospel of Grace.

After writing this, I thought my restless heart would be calmed, unfortunately it is even more restless as I see the almost hopeless state we find ourselves today.

10 thoughts on “I Cannot Keep Silent!

  1. Not only are we to Love one Another, in Romans it says Be devoted to one in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor… Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. I challage everybody to look up the one anothers in the Bible there are a lot of them. In Christian love

  2. Brother,

    As you know, I share many of the same concerns regarding the foregone conclusion of what Christianity is and means to the American church, and even more so the American culture.

    You know I have always admired your zeal for passionate and lavish grace; as it is of the same spirit that so lavished His love upon us; whom yet were still enemy towards Him, sent His Son to bear it all upon Himself so that we might be forgiven.

    Having said that, I would offer this… I do not see the purpose of progressive sanctification (the Christian life) to be solely an external witness drawing those around us to the Gospel as you stated. That is indeed a part of it, but progressive sanctification – that is the process of becoming more Christ like includes all aspects of His nature.

    Of the Law, we know that Paul wrote that the purpose of the Law was to make us aware of our sin, that it is an expression of the Nature of God; and that Christ is it’s (the law’s) fulfillment.

    As to an expression of God’s nature; we must recognize that God’s worth-ship is expressed, his Holiness is expressed, His perfection is expressed, Justice, Love, Mercy, and Grace.

    Scripture also speaks to a definite diversity within the body, that although we are different parts of the body, we are united in Christ, and cannot consider ourselves separate. Those who may be more mature in matters of conduct according to the letter of the law may be less mature in matters of grace or pathos. Likewise, those who are very matured in grace could themselves be immature in doctrine.

    This is not to say you are either, but only to illustrate the problem of pride. We all want to look at ourselves as superior; whether by holiness or law or love or passion. I think the solution to this particular issue is not to treating unbelievers in accordance with the law of the land, but in accordance with the Law of the Lord Most High….which is embodied in one who “speaks the truth in love.”

    It may be culturally pragmatic (read permissible) to advocate in accord with the law of the land, but it is not truly beneficial.

    1. Mike I appreciate your comments….but Jesus never told us to point out the sins of others in the world, and He exposed the sin of pride within the religious community. And in love He pointed people to God’s grace and then their sin.

      I am not Jesus, I am far, far from sinless, perhaps even more sinful than i care to admit. Do I have pride, at times. Do I judge others yes. Am I weak and afraid and hypocritical, yes. That is why the grace of God is so important to me. He started this process and He will finish it. It is progressive sanctification but my santification is a result of God at work in me and therefore I do not have a right to attack non-believers as to how they live. If I cannot live up to the standard, how can I condemn anyone else. I am called to love….love God and love others without condition.

      I am not advocating for laws, I am an advocate of love. It is not the job of the Christian to force non-believers to live as a Christian, but it is our job to love them and build relationships with them and when prompted by the Holy Spirit to speak truth in love.

      1. Mark Lee,

        We are really agreeing on alot, in fact I am having difficulty understanding where you think we differ.

        My last point to Mark S was that I totally understand the point of view that the structure and letter of the Law of the Land (re constitution) may leave room for the legalization of abortion and gay marriage; but I am not about to advocate for those things. I believe scripture teaches that we have to tolerate such things, which I do and will, but I could not advocate for them any more than I could advocate for the legalization of any other sin.

        Not sure where you read in my post that I would ever try forcing the Gospel…that is simply not the case.

  3. God refers to His followers as “sheep” for a reason Mark, they are born into the church with a “herd” mentality. Follow the leader is the rule of the day, even when they spout hate and bigotry. Leaders continually rip Bible verses out of context to support their own prejudice, so do those who show up week after week to be spectators! After all there is a lot of money to be made in this “Jesus thing”, books to be sold, mega churches to be filled, how to videos to be sold. And nothing works as well as guilt and fear, to get people to empty their wallets!

  4. The main problem lies in the human inability to separate the physical self from the spiritual self. People have an impossible time realizing what place they hold in both time and space. Applying the viewpoints of an eternal spirit destined for either life everlasting or permanent separation from the giver of life to a terrestrial being that plays on the same field as dogs that travel in hand held bags is not so much of a square-peg-round-hole problem, but more like a no-object-lesson-does-it-justice problem. The vastness and absolute greatness that lies within the person of God is and what He has done for creation as a whole. Is it really important (or even hardly marginally important) what political “beliefs” people aspire to? Does it matter what social behaviors and patterns they follow? Does it even matter what building they sit in for an extremely short period of time once a week to pretend to ponder things? For me it all comes back to perspective. True biblical perspective. The idea of really believing that what you believe is really real. Can you imagine the real love that would exist in the world if people realized that the God of the universe sacrificed the most important part of Himself so that they might one day actually know him? That the existential dread that tugs at the mind of every living cognizant being will not be fulfilled, but triumphantly destroyed? The place for pontification and debate and rhetoric would suddenly have no place whatsoever. I hope that one day I can arrive there, and be able to love as I am loved. As long as we’re wishing, I’d also like a pony.

  5. Mark, you are not alone. The Spirit is renewing the Church in America not to be the voice of one political party but to be the voice of the Kingdom. We have sold our souls for so long to one party, we have exchanged the Kingdom of God for the American Dream, we have made Christianity over in the image of America, it is going to take us a while to learn the language of God’s Kingdom so we can actually shine God’s love and not some political agenda or Americana.

  6. Hey, I saw this documentary a few years back. I hear it is now on netflix and possibly hulu. Here is the website: http://www.lordsaveusthemovie.com/

    It is a great documentary. It points out where the church is missing the point without being mean. It also reaches out to homosexuals and others without condoning sin but also without condemning them.

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