“When it came to abortion, no evangelical Christian said, “Let’s just focus on preaching the gospel.”
So why are they saying that now when it comes to racism.”
I saw the above quote circulating on Social Media this week. I very much appreciate the powerful and relevant point of the author’s penetrating irony. It is insightful and challenging. And yet, it’s also an either/or fallacy. Whenever we are presented with only two choices, a little flashing light should go off in the corner of our brain. When it comes to considering options in a situation, conflict, or problem, we need to ask, “Are the options before me mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive?”
There is no doubt that we have real ongoing problems with racial injustice and systemic racism in our country and our world. However, the gospel of Jesus Christ is the only thing that truly changes the heart of man. We need Christians and their churches to be the salt and light in our world that God called us to be. And yes, our nation needs new legislative programs as well as enforcing the good laws that are already on the books. In all of this, I’m most concerned about the gospel salt and light of God’s people. Don’t get me wrong; I am also concerned for good legislative change. But what this world needs above all is the gospel, and that’s the primary job and responsibility of the church and Christ’s followers in this world.
As I have grappled with the ongoing racial brokenness of our country and world with others over the years, I’ve often wondered, “What if the church had been more faithful to be the church all the way through this?” What if the story William Wilberforce’s Christianity, as told in the movie Amazing Grace, hadn’t been so exceptional? The Scottish Covenantor Churches in Virginia who ruled that, if you owned slaves, you couldn’t be a member of their church – what if that had been the norm? What if the church of Jesus Christ in the past 50 years hadn’t been primarily focused on serving ourselves as we pursued personal success? As Francis Schaeffer prophetically warned us at the end of the last century: the Christian Church had sold it’s soul to the idols of personal peace and affluency.
This week’s sermon title is deliberately a little ironic. Right now we want to know how to change our world. Jesus has something to say to us with regard to that! This Sunday, and next week in our Daily Worship Devotions, we are kicking off a new Summer Season – “Jesus’ Parables: Disruptive Grace” by looking at two parables Jesus tells about the Kingdom of God in Luke 13:18-21.
I encourage you to take some time to reflect, meditate, and pray through those parables in Luke 13:18-21. Ask God to give you faith and to make his Kingdom come – in and through you and his church.
Yours in Christ’s love,