Some time ago, I wrote about Christians’ involvement in politics. My conclusion was that Christians can and should be involved in politics, but we should be far more involved in the proclamation of the gospel. Yet, as I continue to watch our culture unfold, I see a trend that just won’t stop. Christians continually involve themselves in politics, culture wars, boycott efforts, just about anything that is not true gospel proclamation.
Turn on the evening news and whenever there is a cultural battle being fought, you will find a news commentator talking to a Christian pastor, or protestor with a sign, and they are talking about rescuing or reclaiming America. As if the mandate from our Savior was about returning constitutional authority to the nation rather than the saving of souls. And if it isn’t the conservative pundits calling on our evangelical leaders, then it is the liberal media that has found preachers in the pulpits condemning homosexuals to fenced off areas to eventually die off. Everywhere we go, evangelicalism has wound its way into every facet of the political wars, but nary a sign of the gospel is seen. Conservative Christians are seen only as an extension of right-wing extremism and, honestly, we only have ourselves to blame.
When the early church was formed, it was said of the believers that they had “turned the world upside down,” by the preaching of the gospel (Acts 17:6). Jews, Romans, and virtually every nation persecuted and chased Christians everywhere. And in each place they settled, the church spread and grew. Was it because they infiltrated government or had laws passed that were favorable to them? Absolutely not. It was because they were proclaiming the glorious gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ! Hearts were changed and churches grew because Christians obeyed the command of our Lord to preach the gospel, and only the gospel. As Paul said, “For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified,” (1 Cor. 2:2). It wasn’t politics that they spread, is was Jesus Christ. Christians were not known for their political affiliations, they were known for the love for Jesus!
Today, modern American Christianity is not known for its gospel proclamations, so much as its political affiliations. Yet, there are many groups whose efforts at evangelism are widely known. There are the cults of the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons who are almost exclusively known for their door knocking ministries. Most churches today might mail out a flier letting the “unchurched seekers” know a new country club….I mean “church” has opened in their neighborhood, but it is the cults who are out making personal evangelism efforts and sharing their doctrines door to door.
Out on the streets, there are the legalistic, sign waving, hate mongering, turn or burn “christians” making their efforts at evangelism. They scream into the megaphones and tell people how wicked they are. They perceive themselves as the arm of God’s wrath and yet act as though they are innocent of any rebellion against the Lord. Truth be known, many of us have likely cringed when we see a team of Christians preaching in the open air, worrying at the thought of what they might be saying. This is such a prevalent view that, even though there are many folks out there preaching the true gospel (see the spotlight video on Tony Miano as an example), most people associate open air preaching and sign wavers with folks like the Westboro Baptists, James Lyman and others.
So as I said before, the American church is known far more for our political affiliations instead of our gospel proclamations. And where we should be known for our evangelism, cults and hate mongers have asserted themselves far more than we ever do. So what we shouldn’t be known for, we are. And what we should be known for, others have stolen away.
What a sad and pathetic blight on the modern American church. It should not be, and it needs to change, now! I am blessed to be affiliated with solid gospel ministries like Living Waters. Thanks to the efforts of many such ministries, a small, but vocal army of evangelists are spreading all around the country and the gospel is being proclaimed. Everyday, they commit themselves to the preaching of the precious elixir of the gospel to heal the lost and condemned souls surrounding them. So what I am asking is this: are you content to only be known for who you vote for? Are you content to sit back and watch false preachers pound out a false gospel? Are you content in rejecting the command of your Savior to preach the gospel unto every nation? Are you willing to let the country be won only to see souls be lost?
If not, then let us change the direction of the American church now! If we are to reclaim something, let us reclaim the preaching of the gospel! Let it be us, under the guidance and authority of our local churches, knocking on doors and preaching on the streets! Let it be us who biblically and compassionately proclaim what is sin and that a judgment that is coming. Let it be us who acknowledge that we too were once under the same condemnation, yet Christ saved us, not under any merit of our own, but because He was gracious to show us mercy. Let it be us who preach that Christ alone is the only way of salvation and there is no other!
Christians, if we are to be known for something, let it be for the love we have for our fellow neighbors who are en route to Hell. A love that drives us to share the truth of the gospel with them, even if they hate us for it. A love that drives us to care far less about the political landscape, but to care about the souls of those who are making our country into a modern day Sodom and Gomorrah. Let that love cause us not to be angry with, or even hate those who are promoting the sins that are causing the moral decay we see, but let it cause us to desperately preach the gospel to them, making every effort to save them from the judgment that is coming upon them.
Brethren, let us not be known by who we vote for. Let us be known as those who desperately love the lost souls of our nation and who would risk all so that they might be saved. Let us be the ones known for the loudest and most compassionate gospel pleas and let the cults and false teachers be driven from the public place they once occupied. And may this all be done for the glory of God alone.