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How Can Christians Agree on the Gospel But Live in a World Antagonistic to Biblical Values?

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This Sunday marks the end of the Christian Holy Week, a week that commences with Palm Sunday — the day when Christ entered into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey, being met as a conquering king.

Holy Week climaxes on Good Friday — the day when that same formerly joyous crowd chanted “crucify him!”

But, just like every good superhero movie, the darkest night always precedes the triumphant resolution, and Easter Sunday marks the resurrection of our murdered Savior.

Around the world this week, self-identified Christians — from the LGBT “pastor” to the Fundamentalist Baptist — will take the time to celebrate and commemorate these events. That’s some 2.4 billion people in total, or over 30 percent of the world’s population.

If so many people can agree on this message — which is, essentially, the Gospel — how then do we live in a world that seems so antagonistic to Biblical values?

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The World We Live In

The human race, contrary to the theoretical principles of macroevolution, is not good and getting better, but rather bad and getting worse.

We seem to undermine and oppose the Christian God at every turn and in every arena of life. The enemy, through his servants in the world, never ceases to replace the truth with lies and to call what is good evil.

And what is the Church’s response to this never-ending assault on the light? Utter silence, or worse — celebration.

The Dobbs decision passed, emancipating millions of unborn children from a destiny of genocide, but leading pastors (with just a few exceptions) said nothing. Or, they cautioned us as victors to be sensitive to the left, not wanting to appear ungracious or — God forbid — unkind as we march through the burned out gates of the enemy stronghold to raise our flag.

“Why celebrate the salvation of the unborn? We’re in the middle of a sermon series on ‘Being the Best You!’ We wouldn’t want to distract folks from the breakthrough God has for them just around the corner.”

Have you ever seen two dogs meet for the first time and the more timid of the two immediately rolls onto its back to expose its belly, ears tucked away and mouth pulled into an almost sheepish smile? Animal behavior experts will tell you that is an offering of submission.

There is no struggle for dominance, no battle or test to lose, just an immediate and obnoxious surrender before words are even exchanged.

This is the current state of the American evangelical establishment as we know it.

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We preach sermons about being “bold” in your faith, living for Christ, and many other platitudes that are refreshed by a graphic designer and repeated every 18 months, but the second the time comes to demonstrate an ounce of this boldness, we retreat into cowardly submission, begging the gay Rottweiler with purple hair and a nose ring to leave us alone.

You’ve Missed the Point

So back to my original question: how can so many people memorialize the same event — the Passion of Jesus Christ and His resurrection — and yet remain so fundamentally divided, even opposed, on the things Jesus Christ and His apostles advocated for?

The problem is most Christians don’t have the weakest grasp of their beliefs in God, which amounts to “theology.” They could probably repeat some canned bumper sticker slogans about asking Jesus into their hearts to save them from their sins, and how, because of that, they no longer smoke cigarettes, or something.

If the self-professed Christian population of the world actually had a proper understanding of what took place this week 2000 years ago, our world would look radically different.

Sadly, that army of 2.4 billion would dwindle to little more than the attendants at an after-school book club.

This club, however, punches supernaturally outside of its weight class. Members of this club — the true, invisible church of Christ — are the ones who have been awakened by such a powerful message, a word that has transformed them at the soul level. The real, OG “woke” crowd — no purple hair required.

These club members do not remain silent in the aftermath of Dobbs. They dance on its ashes, rushing to the tallest ruin in the burned-out fortress to plant the flag of Christ at the highest point.

Are you a member of this club?

I challenge you to hear my words and consider them. Your eternal life depends on it.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ

God is the Creator of the first man, Adam. As a created being, Adam was accountable to God and obligated to Him. As we all know, Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s one commandment for them. They ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil in an attempt to be like God.

As a result of their sin, God cursed them, and through them, us. Every one of us.

Every one of us is infected and affected with this curse of sin, resulting in death. We have inherited it from our father Adam. We have also earned it for ourselves through our sins of omission and our sins of commission, trespasses of God’s given law.

We have all stored up for ourselves what scripture refers to as a “cup of wrath.” This cup, filled with the righteous fury of Almighty God, will be poured out on us upon our death, for all of time. It will be punishment that will never end, because we have committed the ultimate evil.

Oswald Chambers said, “Sin is not weakness, it is a disease; it is red-handed rebellion against God and the magnitude of that rebellion is expressed by Calvary’s cross.” Too often pastors and Christians will whitewash our sin. We’ll replace it with euphemisms like “messed up,” or “struggling.” We dare not face the full weight of the consequences we have earned.

However, this isn’t the end of the story. Even as God cursed Adam and Eve, He gave them a promise of a future Savior, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” (Genesis 3:15)

St. Paul explains these events in more detail, “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned […] For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!” (Romans 5:12, 15)

The Cross

We say all the time, “Jesus died on the cross for our sins.” How dare we simplify such utter horror and torment to such a trite statement? Christ Jesus was scourged by Pontius Pilate, his back tore open by a Roman flagellum — a whip that ends in metal ball bearings, nails, and spikes.

Our Lord and Savior then carried the crossbar to his cross upon the raw flesh and muscle of his eviscerated back — weighing some 200 pounds — to his place of execution outside the city walls, a distance of over half a kilometer.

Jesus was then nailed — not through the palms of his hands as artwork portrays — but through his wrists, one of the densest collection of nerves in the human body. He then hung for hours, fighting asphyxiation by pushing his chest up, off his nailed-through feet, until He gave up his spirit and died.

But before this could happen, in a single moment our Lord Jesus Christ took upon his one soul the entire cosmic wrath of all of the sins of his people who had been born and would be born.

Those cups of wrath that we fill — we fill them when we curse drivers in traffic, when we lie to our boss at work, when we insult our wives or husbands. Those cups of wrath are cups we fill when we murder innocent people, when we rape children, when we abuse women.

Not all sin is morally equal, but all sin is equally damnable. The tax evader will burn in hell next to the pedophile.

Every one of those cups was poured out upon Jesus in one moment. Each cup so full it would take all of eternity to empty were it upon us who deserved them, instead poured out in one moment on the Son, by the Father.

And in this moment, it was finished. The punishment for the sins of God’s people was paid, and they could now be reconciled to the Father. Instead of hiding behind leaves in the Garden of Eden, ashamed of our nakedness, we come boldly before the throne of grace, literally clothed in Christ’s blood — His righteousness.

“Christian” or Christian?

The fundamental separation between those 2.4 billion “Christians” and that small book club of God’s called and chosen people is the very thing that seems to publicly unite them — the Gospel.

The Gospel is good news, literally. We get the word “gospel” from the Greek “euangelion” which means — you guessed it — “good news.”

Oftentimes when we share information with a friend, we use the phrase, “I’ve got good news and bad news; which do you want to hear first?” We instinctively understand that good news can’t be good news unless there is or ever was bad news to contradict it.

This principle carries for the Christian Gospel. The good news is that Jesus Christ died to save us. Most progressive “Christians” will stop there, but the after-school book club doesn’t. We ask, “What exactly did Jesus save us from?”

Still more progressive “Christians” proclaiming their “social gospel,” will answer that we’ve been saved from racism, sexism, homophobia, the gender wage gap, and other evils that may be committed against us. The book club knows better.

Before we can cry for social justice, we must ask for cosmic justice. Before we can claim victimhood, we must admit how we have all victimized God. That is the bad news that must precede the good news.

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John Welnick works full-time helping lead a large Christian nonprofit in the greater Phoenix area. He provides cultural commentary through a theological lens on his social media platform, which can can be found on Instagram under the handle @Charismatic_Calvinist.
John Welnick works full-time helping lead a large Christian nonprofit in the greater Phoenix area. He provides cultural commentary through a theological lens on his social media platform, which can can be found on Instagram under the handle @Charismatic_Calvinist.




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