Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Ungospel

I passed a church this week that had these words of ineptness out on its sign:

"Remember, American ends with I CAN."

Displaying this message out in front of a building presumably dedicated to proclaiming the good news of the gospel is so, so, so very misguided.

If the gospel is all about how Christ was slain for us, as the bearer of our sins, because we CAN'T do anything that would save our souls... then this is the ungospel.

If the good news is that one day America (and all the other fallen tribes and nations of this world) will perish and be replaced by the Kingdom of Jesus Christ... then this just ends up putting our focus and energies back on more bad news.

Yes, I love this country for all the right reasons to love this country.  But this country cannot be the center of the Christian's love.  Jesus Christ and his Kingdom must stand in the center of the Christian's love.

And if that is so, then all of our other loves will be rightly re-ordered and properly strengthened.

The church is not here to save America.  It's not here to boost our confidence in America's "can-do-ness."

That is not our mission.

Our mission is to point to Jesus Christ, to proclaim his gospel, to humbly serve this whole world in his name, to live faithfully in the land in which he's placed us, to gain a hearing for the Word of God through the kindness & love & wisdom of our lives, to feed the hungry, to seek the eternal good of the city we call home, to persuade people of the truth of Christ's Eternal Kingdom, to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints, to love our neighbors, to bear witness to God's grace by example and by word, to pray for his Kingdom to come in power.... and to cheerfully pay any price for doing so, if we must.

It's time to put aside our obsession with finding political avenues to "take back the country."

It's time to lay down our lives and give ourselves up for the good of our neighbors, defining that good around the gospel alone.

We're in good company.  That's exactly what the first-century church did.

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