Monday, January 03, 2005

CNN Program

I saw a program the other day on CNN about Evangelicals in America. Did any of the rest of you see it? I think they are trying to find out about this voting block that re-elected the President. They focused on one representative family and talked mostly to the daughter and the mother. I can’t remember if there was a father in the home. There was a brother, but he didn’t have much to say. I was thinking about what the young girl said and how she said it. I don’t think there was much wrong with the actual things she said, but I think the focus was wrong and I think that many of us make the same mistake. I am going to try to put my thoughts into words. In response to the reporters questions, many of the things she said were statements such as, “Yes, Jesus is the only way. If you don’t accept Him as your personal Savior, you will spend eternity in hell.” “I’m a Christian. I asked Jesus into my heart when I was four.”

The reporter treated all of this as rather narrow and even some other “clergy” that they had on said that we are sending out the message that we are right and all others are wrong – that it is our way or no way.

Now I’m not disagreeing with what the girl said and I am not questioning her salvation. Nor am I questioning the fact that there is only one way. But the message that came through is that we think we are right and the way we interpret the Bible is the only way, etc. Even though there was some gospel presented in all of this, what was missing it seemed to me is that the gospel is the good news from God. It is not ours. We didn’t make it up. Everybody in the world thinks that their religion is right and their philosophy is the right way to look at things. No where in all of this presentation was there anything about our great offense against God and that He in mercy is reaching out to save people that would otherwise be lost. It is coming across as if you don’t agree with us you’re lost. It is almost coming across as though it is their rejection of our way that makes them lost. Whereas is should be coming across that we are all lost except that God has provided a way of escape. The wrath of God abides on those who haven’t trusted Christ. God is angry with the wicked every day. I think we can do a better job of wording the gospel message and our testimonies without watering it down in any way. Of course there is only one way! Of course if someone tries to come to God another way he will be lost. We can’t word it in a way that will avoid offense because the Gospel will cause offense – so I’m not trying to do that. But I’d like it to be clearer as to what people are accepting or rejecting. They are not accepting my interpretation or my belief. They are accepting or rejecting the offer of an offended God who in His mercy and kindness asks people to trust Him for their salvation.
Any thoughts or comments?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Roger, I see this "attacking the measager and side stepping the measage" on the news quite regularly. Fox News had Billy Grahm's daughter on sometime back and Alen Combes made the comment to her that basically said "it's your way or no way". Her response was basically, "it's not what I came up with, but what the Bible says". She then quoted a few short verses to back up her measage.
I thought at the time, a wise approach.
An additional point here, she said everything with a loving spirit. The very thing the verse of the month states we all should be doing more of and me being the chief-need-to-be-loving-more-guy!!!
Because He live...steve