What Are We Known For?

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.

10 thoughts on “What Are We Known For?

  1. doreen says:

    Whilst all you have said is fair and good, it might be ‘too late’, to turn the minds of many Christians to actually ‘think’ like Christians, let alone live that way.

    There is no real hunger for the gospel and God’s glory seen in America, or other westen nations. I’m in England, and the picture is much worse here.

    When you consider the fact, that most Chrisitans will spend their time watching television, being brain-washed in the process, and fed a steady diet of secular humanism all thrown into the bargain, then truly, you have your answer as to why the picture is so bleak.

    But, we have yet to see, what God can do, as we turn to Him with all our hearts, and adopt Isaiah 58 to see the oppressed go free.

    God bless.

  2. Thanks for your compelling post.
    Cults like Jehovah’s Witnesses will ‘love bomb’ the recruit until the ‘honeymoon phase’ has elapsed.
    Jeannie Mills, survivor of the Jonestown Massacre, said, “When you meet the friendliest people you have ever known, who introduce you to the most loving group of people you’ve ever encountered, and you find the leader to be the most inspired, caring, compassionate and understanding person you’ve ever met, and then you learn that the cause of the group is something you never dared hope could be accomplished, and all of this sounds too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true!”
    Don’t be lured into an apocalyptic cult!

    For information on the abuses that exist in the Jehovah’s Witnesses group please go to dissident site-Danny Haszard-
    http://www.dannyhaszard.com

  3. Excellent reminder, reproof. We are mostly a culture who thinks highly of men – Dietrich Bonhoeffer for example – who inspire us in the political realm and have an appearance of being Christian. They mislead us into a false worldview of trying to “save” ourselves by clinging onto to a way of life our flesh finds comforting.

    I was reading Colassians 2 this morning and was reminded that we are complete in Christ and are not to be misled by plausible arguments and sensuous minds of people who have things of this world as their gods.

  4. RS says:

    Chris: Excellent article.
    Doreen and Manfred: Good observations, and I agree with both of you.
    Doreen: A truly tragic situation for your country that once brought forth so many great men of the faith.

    Somehow I may regret putting my own two cents on this, but here goes. Pride drives mankind to “do his part” for God, king and country. And whether it’s punching in and out of church on Sunday, casting his vote, or repeating popular slogans and by-lines that he has bought into, it gives the spiritually clueless a sense that he is living up to his “Christian profession”. So in accord with mankind’s innate gullibility, it should be no surprise that many also buy into the philosophy that political involvement is their “Christian duty” to better mankind in the here and now under the guise of “faith in action” (often citing the likes of Matt 25, Prov.14:31, etc.).

    In many minds, it was the unified block of “Christian” Republicanism that succeeded in placing “Christian brothers” Reagan, Bush Sr., and W in the White House to “keep America Christian”. But for all the Republican hype, they haven’t made America any more Biblically based, nor any more “Christian” (in the Biblical sense). “Oh, but it would be so much worse if we didn’t keep fighting to keep out those godless, immoral Democrats!” And so the manipulation continues, the political fight goes on, and the focus is kept off what God specifically commanded us to do.

    Will professing Christians wise up, quit being so gullible and proud, and return to following the Lord according to His Word? I hope so.

  5. Falko says:

    Hey Chris,
    thanks for the article!

    In Germany the leading party is called »Christian Democratic Union«.
    That’s almost blasphemic!
    I always felt and meant to extract out of the bible, that what Jesus is doing is a grasroots bottom up thing. Otherwise Jesus would have taken a job in the temple or mingled with the romans.
    He touches hearts, who can’t do any different than touching other hearts. And by this gods kingdom and everything that is needed is provided.

    But I’m not sure, if in the second line, we have to be political somehow. For example, we have the command to care for our earth and so our decisions we make everyday go beyond decisions of taste. They are often (low level) political decisions. But I definitely agree, that we have to mind, where our energy comes from and in which channel it flows.

    In selfreflection I think Christians tend to act out of what they »know«, rather than out of the spirit.

    God bless you all.

    (sorry for my mediocre english ;)

  6. Rev Limiter says:

    Thanks for a well written and thought provoking article! I pray this will be read by many!

  7. People love to hate, and politics give them that opportunity. When you listen to hate-radio, you can hear how the denigrating others helps people to have pride in themselves, and yet the Bible says that pride goes before a fall. Thus, it would seem to me that if the church continues to move itself toward being a political party, it’s doomed.

  8. todd3588 says:

    With Chris’ post here I’m reminded of Dr. D. James Kennedy’s ministry. The man was a conservative Presbyterian (PCA) minister who built a huge church in Florida over several decades. Although he generally remained faithful preaching the gospel until his death a few years back, his ministry became charactorized by its HEAVY focus on politics, American history, and influencing people to vote and participate in the governmental process to impact the culture of the U.S.

    Others, you ask??? How ’bout John Hagee (I do NOT endorse him). Jay Sekulow’s American Center for Law & Justice. Even the dear Dr. Dobson. Chuck Colson? David Barton, anyone? Tony Perkins? Gary Bauer???? These men (and ministries), although having noble intentions, miss the point of what the gospel does, and how it relates to politics and government. They, in essence, get the “cart ahead of the horse.” They try to create political disciples, centered around “American values” (what exactly are those?) instead of telling people the “16 ounces-to-the-pound” gospel – which CHANGES HEARTS………and then political convictions. The “religious right,” in my opinion, although I’m glad they’re there, and am glad their influence in government is a good one, has it backwards. Their “ends justify the means” is not the best course.

    Todd
    Texas

  9. Outstanding piece, Chris. I am in complete 100% agreement with the points you made and, in fact, have been saying the same things (almost verbatim) for the past several years now to anyone who will listen. Sadly, though, my words usually fall on deaf ears, drowned out by the cheers of support for the next GOP candidate “savior” to rescue us all from liberalism.

    Here are some things I’ve written on the subject over the years:

    Has the religious right lost its voice in America?

    http://defendingcontending.com/2008/10/14/has-the-religious-right-lost-its-voice-in-american-politics/

    Democracy is always temporary in nature.

    http://defendingcontending.com/2010/03/21/democracy-is-always-temporary-in-nature/

    Independence Day and the state of the church.

    http://defendingcontending.com/2010/07/03/independence-day-and-the-state-of-the-church-2/

    Should Christians vote for the lesser of two evils?

    http://defendingcontending.com/2011/06/09/should-christians-vote-for-the-lesser-of-two-evils/

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