Christians make a greater impact on culture and society when they are far more concerned about advancing God’s kingdom than advancing a moral agenda.
When thinking about evangelism, Christians ought to model Peter’s approach.
Despite the dark and scary waters, he asked Jesus to have the power to walk on water. When Peter took his eyes off Jesus and fearfully sank below the water, Jesus rescued him from the depths. But at least Peter got out of the boat.
Evangelism means stepping out in faith despite the dark and fearful waters of this world and trusting the power of God’s Word. [“Proclaiming the Gospel means Getting Out of the Boat“]
It seems that Christians today are more prone to roll up their sleeves and enter the political arena to create change than to talk about Christ – the real Agent of transformational change. And it seems that our country is suffering as a result.
How can a Christian respond?
I recall attending a large men’s conference twenty years ago. It was part of a “Promise Keepers” movement where tens of thousands of Christian men assembled in large outdoor stadiums. I went with two friends to the Minneapolis Metrodome and listened to Chuck Colson give a keynote speech about what it meant to follow Christ and be an influence in today’s culture.
Colson admitted that his human nature desperately wanted to “put on his gloves again” and get back into political arena to battle against the liberal agenda. Upon that statement, there was a huge roar of approval in the stadium. He easily could have led thousands of Christian soldiers to battle against a political enemy and advance a conservative agenda. But Colson quickly raised his arms to quiet the throng and said, “Gentlemen. That is not the answer!” Servants for Christ are suffering servants – they ought to be far more prone to wash feet than to take up the sword.
Evangelism and Politics
I believe Christians are the most impactful when they become far more concerned about advancing God’s Kingdom than advancing a moral agenda.
I confess that I have always been intrigued by politics. I enjoy keeping political scorecards and hear about strategies. But, I am concerned that the current political climate in America is divisive and dark. Opposite ideologies are engaged in a war across a red and blue state landscape. Evangelical Christians are being used as pawns to advance a conservative agenda in a winner-take-all showdown. And I’m afraid that nobody is going to win as a result.
This is not a call for Christians to become politically active, but a call to get out of the boat and proclaim to others what Christ has already done for us.
I imagine that if Christ were here today, he would be more concerned about finding lost souls rather than trying to elect public officials, seating the right person on the Supreme Court, or changing public policies.
Jesus didn’t spend time condemning a corrupt Roman government or trying to change government. Instead, he reserved the harshest words for the religious.
The Jews were fixated on politics for answers to their problems. They hungered for a bread-king instead of a sacrificial servant. They hungered for a Messiah to help lead God’s people to conquer the Romans, rather than a Savior to forgive them for their sins.
Maybe instead of condemning women for believing it’s okay to kill fetuses – perhaps those who oppose abortion ought to first wash their feet.
Maybe instead of carrying signs or attending political rallies – maybe Christians should engage those with opposing political views and reach out in love before speaking the truth.
Maybe instead of condemning two men who desire to get married, maybe we should first offer them our coat, go to their house for dinner, and know they are loved because Christ first loved us.
That’s what Jesus would do. And that’s what he did.
He loved outcasts whom the religious community had already condemned, turned their backs on, and ignored their needs and concerns.
That’s what it means today to get out of the boat and engage the world. To boldly step out from our comfortable world and into the deep, murky waters of a sinful world to boldly shine our light and witness to the Truth.
Our nation is suffering right now from a lack of salt from a Christian church that continues to lose its saltiness.