Moralism or Evangelism?

The New Testament church provides us with a picture of what born again Christians are to strive to emulate.  Our American culture makes this a difficult endeavor.  There is such a thing as personal repentance and faith without which regeneration does not occur.  Yet, the body element of Christianity is difficult in our current culture of rugged individualism. American Christians have difficulty understanding the group-life depicted in the New Testament – church discipline (Matt. 18:15-20); common property (Acts 4:32-35); and family care-giving (1 Tim. 5:3-16).  These accounts (along with others) are difficult for us to wrap our minds around because individual fulfillment and welfare have always been at the forefront of our thinking.  The irony of the matter is that this makes New Testament Christianity difficult to accept and practice.  This has resulted in needing to reinterpret Christianity to make it fit out individualistic worldview.  Christ has been recast as the friend who fulfills all our dreams and desires.  He has been remodeled so that He is not Lord of the universe but instead a cosmic life-coach who exists for the purpose of fulfilling us.  This is not New Testament Christianity.

So, what is the answer?  In the past, the solution of American evangelicals was to create the Moral Majority, which was based upon the attempt to moralize unregenerate people, not evangelize them.  Apparently, we believed that God’s method of transforming the lives of lost people (evangelism) was no longer effective.  Since evangelism was no longer effective, we needed to keep the morality of lost people in check.  Therefore, the only effective means of doing so was through politics, petitions, picketing, and legislation.  We could not possibly expect God’s means of transforming the lost to work, so we have sought to the help of politicians to fix the morality of the lost through secular laws, rather than through sharing the gospel so God may divinely transform the lives of lost people.  It is certainly a good thing that we figured out that God’s way of evangelism was not working because looking to the Republican Party to save us is working out great.  I looked for that verse in the New Testament and the only Savior I found mentioned was Jesus Christ.  I also found that His means of changing lives is Christians evangelizing and praying for the lost, while God saves souls.  Scripture never instructs Christians to look to secular government to moralize the lost or as a solution for the spiritual condition of the lost, especially since many of those in authority are lost.

Maybe there would be more opportunities to proclaim the gospel if we were not spending so much time proclaiming the platform of the Republican Party.  Why are we more passionate about moralism through politics than about the salvation of the lost through the gospel?  Do we realize why people around us are so immoral?  It is because they are spiritually dead, as a result of rejecting the gospel.  They are on their way to hell because they have rejected the finished work of Christ on the cross.

When evangelical Christians hear that people want abortion on the demand and homosexual marriage, we become distraught and write our congressman to protest.  Really?  Why aren’t we distraught that these people are lost and bound for hell?  Instead, why don’t we preach the gospel and pray that God will save their souls?  Which response is more inline with the New Testament Scriptures?  Political protest or preaching the gospel and prayer?

Is the gospel so powerless to change the lives of sinners that we must turn to politics and protest?  Should we continue to abandon evangelism for moralizing the lost through legislation?  Moralizing the lost through political legislation is relying upon the efforts of man to change the human heart, which will only result in moral people who are lost for eternity.  Evangelizing the lost through the gospel and prayer is relying upon God to change the human heart.  Which one does God say to trust?  Republicans or God?  Is God up in heaven wringing His hands hoping that the Republicans come up with a more compelling political platform?  I doubt it.  God does not put His trust in humans and neither should evangelical Christians.  Drop the politics.  Preach the gospel.

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