Pastor Paul's Blog

The Temptation to Fall In Love With Anything But the Gospel

Posted by Paul D. Johnson on

The Bible commands Jesus-followers to be concerned about Culture. After all, Culture is where non-believers are found, it’s where we shine our brightest light, and it’s where we make the world better. Jesus dwelled habitually with unapproved people: The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners. (Matthew 11:19). Like Jesus, we should be “in the world” but there is a great danger lying in wait. It’s too easy to fall in love with it.

Politics seems to be the preferred platform of the day for evangelical leaders. Believers are rightly speaking up for abused women and racial injustice. But some have gone too far, i.e. Robert Jeffress, Senior Pastor at First Baptist Dallas, who interviewed Sean Hannity of Fox News during a Sunday morning service (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuP6zFx9hMo). Then there’s Franklin Graham, who seems to be ardent about the gospel but just as much so regarding the rights of veterans and defending Donald Trump. Not bad. Just not the most important thing.

In my view, too many of our leaders seem to be enamored with their status in the political arena. Too few are spending as much energy leading the lost toward Jesus Christ. One can’t help but notice the drift of American evangelicals away from evangelism and toward “Republicanism.” Author and American religious historian Randal Balmer is quoted as part of an opinion piece in the L.A. Times: The word "evangelical" has morphed from being commonly used to describe a set of theological and spiritual commitments into a passionately defended, theo-political brand. Worse, that brand has become synonymous with social arrogance, ignorance and prejudice — all antithetical to the gospel of Jesus Christ (https://lat.ms/2w2Xdj3).

That may be too harsh, but even so, it is how many see evangelicalism today: more concerned about pushing a right-wing agenda than the things of the gospel. Are you in love with Jesus? Or, have you traded in your gospel passion for a place at the political table? Tough questions. Important questions. We must ask them because it’s too easy to fall in love with something other than the gospel.

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