I have had many talks with different people about Jesus, the Bible, and life. For some reason, there is a widespread impression that biblical Christianity and the “Religious Right,” as it has been dubbed by opponents to the politically-conservative organized movement, are one and the same thing. In this piece, I wish to show that they are not.
In fact, I would argue that the “Religious Right,” or at least its image in society’s mind, has had an adverse effect on biblical Christianity.
“What?!” you ask.
Yes, I believe this movement, as typified and embodied most by people like Pat Robertson, have really hurt the cause of Christ.
How can I say that when the very issues on which they stand, such as against abortion and “gay marriage,” are Bible based? Just how has the “Religious Right” hurt biblical Christianity?
These two issues, which have come to define the “Religious Right,” I am afraid, have served to distract the Church from what we really need to be focused on, namely the Gospel. In other words, we have majored on the minors, to borrow a phrase.
For the record, I am against abortion and “gay marriage” too. I do not endorse these actions that are sins. But I am also against camping out on those issues alone and missing a chance to go after the heart of the matter, which is the hearts of people. For some reason, we want to camp here, and I tend to do it sometimes…but let’s go after the hearts of people rather than their current behaviors.
If we go after the heart, we get the behavior eventually. As Tullian Tchividjian once said: “Legalism says God will love us if we change. The Gospel says God will change us because He loves us.”
We’ve bought the lie, hook, line and sinker, of a watered-down country-music gospel, which seems to say, “If you say ‘God bless America,’ vote for the conservative candidate and occasionally go to church, then you’re a Christian.'”
We automatically think that if someone says that they ‘have faith in God,’ that puts them on equal footing with true, Bible-believing Christians. That is not always the case.
If you don’t believe that the Bible is God’s Word, I’m going to step out on a limb and say that you are more than likely not a Christ follower.
If you don’t think your personal sin is a problem, and that Jesus died to shatter your personal sin–that you need to repent of said sin–then there is a good chance you’re not a true Christ follower.
If you don’t believe Jesus is God, there is a really good chance that you’re not a Christian.
If you believe that Jesus sinned while walking on the earth, there is a solid chance you are not a Christian.
If you believe you have to be a Republican (or a Democrat) in order to get into Heaven, there’s a pretty good chance you’re not getting in.
If you believe that just because you live in America, you’re going to Heaven, again, there’s a really good chance you’re not getting in.
The reason we have reports of 92% of people inside the churches thinking that they are saved when, in reality, they may not truly be His followers is because, sadly, we as the Church have done a crummy job of actually preaching and articulating the Gospel.
Too many of the teachings inside of churches are directed to private and personal morality by themselves (i.e. Divorced from the Gospel). Too many sermons focus on sex, marriage, finances and relationships, and how God has a great plan for those things I just mentioned, but leaving out the Gospel itself.
What our sermons today need to be focused on is what Christians have always needed to focus on: the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Chris! If we get that right, the other stuff will get fixed. If we get that wrong, then we have failed to get to the root of the matter.
We need to get to the root of the problems. The root of the problem is sin, and we need a Savior to rescue us from our sins. We need a LORD to come and take over our lives and set us free from the pit of slavery we are in.
When this begins to happen then things are really going to change. We must resist the temptation to preach a moralism-only based religion, which gets us no where and alienates the very people we seek to reach.
Jesus is the real answer to our problems; He is the only answer