Hijacking is the lawless seizure of a vehicle in transit to either rob it or divert it to a destination it was not intended to go. Has the Christian Gospel been hijacked from within?
As a political moderate/conservative and social conservative, I applaud some of the efforts in the USA by politically active believers to stand up for family values and the rights of the faithful. However, this political activism in not the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Conservatism is not a Christian doctrine.
Having spent a lot of time traveling recently, I have had an opportunity to hear many Christian radio stations. I am appalled by much of their unchristian dialogue and political content. Before I expound on the dangers of swimming these waters, let me preface this by saying this:
Where is the Good News in Gospel preaching that Christ came to save sinners, heal the sick, and restore the brokenhearted? This is the heart of the Gospel message but it has been usurped by political expediency.
Whether by perversion or hijacking, the Gospel in the West has been usurped from the clear intent of God to be the Good News that God is in Christ reconciling the world to himself. Since when am I required to be a member of a political party to be saved?
I did a double take when I walked into a local Christian bookstore and found the writings of Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh for sale. Both adamantly deny they are born again believers in Jesus Christ. Rather they believe in “God.” So does Ted Kennedy. Even the devils believe in God, and they tremble. The God these folks believe in is not the God of Scripture. I find Coulter and Limbaugh at times funny, always divisive, and every bit as wicked as their liberal counterparts. They do not speak for the God of the Bible.
The Pharisees of their day were no doubt on the correct side of the moral and social issues of their days, but where were their hearts before God? Apparently, Jesus was none too impressed. The Bible and the US Constitution are very different documents with very different purposes. Thank God for the freedoms that democracy brings! I thank God even more for the sweet freedom that salvation brings! If forced to choose, I stand for the Gospel.
As a Christian, my highest loyalty is to Christ and his kingdom and no wonder; I am a citizen of Heaven first. As an American, I vote, and dutifully campaign for certain politicians (moderate and conservative), but those activities are not the Gospel that saves men's souls.
God is calling people to faith in himself. He alone is Lord and demands our highest allegiance. The Gospel existed long before my country and will continue long after. Regimes change. Empires fall. The Word of God does not change. His kingdom endures.
When I say that the Gospel in the West has been hijacked, I mean it is going in a direction that God did not intend. The Body of Christ is now known more for often mean spirited politics (which are no Gospel at all) rather than Christlikeness. Paul said that those who preach a different Gospel are anamatha, accursed of God. Neither the liberal or conservative message is the Gospel.
The voting booth has usurped the prayer closet. Do I vote? Yes. Am I politically active? Very. I want good laws and godly people in office. When I try to share Jesus with lost people I often get berated on political grounds that have no bearing on Christ. Conservatism shares some Christian elements but it is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Many politicals would make stone slinging Pharisees of us all!
Paul exercised his rights as a Roman citizen to preach Christ. I use my rights as an American to preach Christ, and I will defend those rights in the voting both. My constitutional rights are not the Gospel. 2 Corinthians 11: 3-4, “But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.”
The church needs to repent and return to “simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.” That is our highest calling. The crafty stone throwers on both sides of the political isle are revolting. When is the last time you ever prayed for Ted Kennedy asking God to remove his blinders so that he might see the glorious forgiveness and healing available to him in Jesus? Change a heart, change the world.
Where are the prayer meetings for Osama bin Laden? I am praying that God will save a radical high profile Muslim terrorist transforming him into an Apostle to the Muslim world! Is that impossible? He once took a saint killing, stone hurling Pharisee named Saul of Tarsus and well, you know the rest of the story. Where is the cry of faith that beseeches God to do it again? Political radicals on both sides of the isles are trying to draw our allegiance away from Jesus to further their own ends.
Have you been party to the hijacking of the saving Gospel? Then repent! When you hear the political Gospel usurping the genuine message of the Cross on “Christian” radio, call in and ask them to lay down their fleshly weapons and stone throwing and to please refocus on the message of Jesus!
To those who are perverting and usurping the Gospel with a political message, be it conservative or liberal, I ask you as Paul asked the Galatians, “Have I become your enemy because I told you the Truth?”
Next time you're tempted to pick up a picket sign to campaign against unbelievers, try picking up a Gospel tract instead and sharing the love of God with them. If you want to help change the world, do it God's way: one saved soul, one changed life at a time.
How truly radical!
Copyright © Bryan Hupperts 1996-2007
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Sola gratia ("by grace alone")
Sola gratia ("by grace alone")
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