Recently my church completed a sermon series entitled “Just Ask”, in which they unpacked their vision of relational evangelism.
Now, if you’ve been tracking with me for any length of time you know that I have my own personal issues with the concept of witnessing or relational evangelism (or whatever else you would choose to call it or whatever skin you would put on it), which are well-documented here on this blog. But that is not what I wanted to talk about today.
What I wanted to talk about was a point that came up in the course of one of the messages. The message in question was about the power of the Christian message that we are called to share with the rest of the world. And the point that I wish to take issue with is about the Biblical law and its role in our message.
The point was that if every church in America were to preach just one point of the Biblical law and preach it consistently, week in and week out, and everyone in America were to apply it to their own lives, then America would be much better off. For instance, if every church were to preach on what the Bible says about money, the housing crisis would never have happened and credit card debt would not be anywhere near the issue that it is today. If we were all to apply what the Bible says about sexuality, the AIDS epidemic would have probably never happened. If every church were to preach on and we were all to apply what the Bible says about relationships, divorce would be a non-issue. And so on.
Now, all of this is true. I fully believe that Biblical principles are good ideas to live by, and that if we live by them our lives will be better and our society is better. That is completely true.
But it’s not the point.
The point of the message that we are entrusted with the task of sharing with the world is this: We are not good people who can do better. We are not bad people who need to do better. We are dead people, spiritually dead people, who need to be brought to life. No amount of law keeping can get us around this fundamental problem. The only possible remedy for this problem is Jesus Christ, who came into the world as one of us and died the death that we all deserved to die.