Michael Spencer: Gospel Cowards

Okay people, here’s another Michael Spencer post that I want you to take a gander at.

Seems that in his denomination, there is a lot of talk about church planting these days.  And the message coming out of the church planting conferences these days seems to be to the effect of “Plant those churches, boys, but stay out of those pubs.  Don’t even go near anyplace where alcohol is served.”  Or as they might say over in Athens, “Take the gospel to every nation, tribe and tongue on the face of the earth, but not to the 40 Watt.”

The point Michael Spencer makes in this post is that we evangelicals are not ignorant of the Gospel (although that may be true to a certain extent in some of the darker corners of evangelical Protestant-dom).  The problem is that we are not willing to deal with the full implications of the Gospel.  If we dared to apply the Gospel in all of its implications to life, the church, our politics, our finances, our power structures, our accepted ways of looking at things…it could cause some problems.  And we don’t want that.

The Gospel is such a radical message of grace and forgiveness for all, that it is bound to cause problems in our world.  But instead of this message, what we hear in some parts of evangelical Protestant-dom is “Stay out of the pubs.”  In other places what we hear is “Take back America’s Christian heritage!!!”  And in other places we hear “God has a WONDERFUL plan for you…if you have the faith to claim it.”

Our problem:  We don’t want the Gospel to be what it truly is.  We want it to be just a prop to affirm us in our certainties, our comforts, our opinions, our priorities, our assumptions, our ideas of the way things ought to be.

We talk about wanting to see the glory of God and the lordship of Jesus Christ in all areas of life.  Okay…but what if that means the Republicans don’t win the next election?  What if that means we have to adopt a posture of greater humility in our interactions with those of other Christian traditions?  What if that means we have to let go of this agenda of trying to save Western civilization from itself and its own worst excesses?

As Michael Spencer says, our problem is not that we don’t know Jesus is Lord.  It’s just that acknowledging it and accepting the full implications of it could make a lot of people upset.  And we don’t want that.

Read Michael Spencer’s “Gospel Cowards”