The Gospel being Primary

Posted on 8:36 PM by
There is an aspect of Christian culture that has been heavy on my heart lately. I have noticed in the lives of Christians, and even my own at times, that God's glory and His gospel are not primary in life. I write this as a reminder to my own heart, but hopefully also a reminder to others to keep Christ central to our words and our actions. There are many ways that this has made itself evident in our culture, but a primary one is in the world of politics.

In past recent years, Christianity has held a firm position on the political right. It was almost an understood thing that if you were a part of Christian culture, then you would be identified with the Republican party. The last few years have brought a different side of things. There is a new Christian Left, which is primarily made up of younger adults. They are bringing a new viewpoint on Christian life and ethics. I am not here today to argue either position, because my blog does not have a political purpose. I am, however, here to make a plea for Christians to unite under the cause of the gospel.

We have become, as Christians, so cause and politically oriented, that we are unable to gain any sense of unity over the things that are of primary importance. I have become increasingly frustrated with Christians on the right expressing anger to Christians on the left over issues of healthcare. It seems that more and more I am hearing younger Christians on the left demean and belittle Christians on the right because they are not environmentally friendly enough, or because they do not care about the poor. Those are issues we could deal with, but again that is not the purpose of this blog. The issue is the lack of unity that politics have been bringing into the Christian church.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is not called the gospel of politics for a reason. Christians will never be able to unite around politics or any sort of political party. We were not meant to. Throughout history, there has only been one uniting factor among Christians: the gospel of Jesus Christ. That is what His church is built around. Now some might want to argue that the gospel is a social one that must be carried out, even in the political world. I would argue that the gospel does have strong implications for our political views and actions, but it is not politics. Nor was it meant to be carried out by any political party. The church is the body set apart to carry out the gospel, and we must be united around it. Ephesians 3:10 says "so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places."

So it is the church that is given the responsibility of carrying this good news of Jesus Christ to the world. In order to make this happen, we must be united. Jesus says in John 17:21, in his priestly prayer to the Father, "that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me." If the world is going to see that Jesus is in fact, through His work on the cross, the way to gain relationship with God, then we must be united around Him. We are doing much harm to the good news of Jesus to parade our disunity over issues that, while they may be important, do not come close to the immeasurable riches of Christ found in His gospel. We must make this gospel primary. We must cease hindering it's work by our bickering over lesser issues. I am not at all indicating that we should not peacefully discuss other issues, but it must always be carried out in love and a spirit of unity, instead of the ridiculous and hateful speech that turns people away from the love of God through Christ Jesus. This is a plea for unity, around the gospel, so that the work of the Kingdom may be done through the Body of Christ, with whom it has been entrusted.


Kris said...

what a wonderful outlook on the unity of the Body of Believers! i pray that all of us will put aside our politically opinionated right-wing/left-wing viewpoints, and take up the viewpoint of God's heart, and of God's purposes and thoughts, which are made clear in Scripture. I pray we all unite around His Son Jesus, so that we may then truly know God for who He is.

jbrady said...

I couldn't agree more with your post. The last two years teaching ethics has been an interesting journey. I have tried to be fair to all sides and insure that a peaceful and honest discussion can take place from a gospel perspective. The most rewarding moments have been when I have simply applied the truth of the gospel to an issue and non-believers have seen the beauty of God's grace. Ultimately the truely important discussions are the ones that have eternal significance. Sometimes controversial issues can be a great bridge to these conversations.