Will the real Gospel please stand up?
The following post is based upon a comment that was left at Pete's Blog I preached this last Sunday at our Church on the Spirit of Adoption. One of the points that I made (yes I had two points. I am sorry to disappoint everyone. I promise that I will not have any in subsequent sermons) is that when one is adopted into a new family one must leave a previous family and take on the traits and the values of the new family. I stated that one of the problems with Christianity today is that when we were adopted into the family of God we failed to leave our previous family and try to live as if we are in both. The way that we do this is that we sanctify our previous family so that it's traits and values fit in with our new family. It was at this point that I stopped. I could go no further in this thought process. I wanted to talk about how we have sanctified certain political parties and eschatologies and economic systems, etc. but I didn't. I couldn't because I felt too much pressure to stay within the confines of "orthodox" evangelical thought. Here's my list of questions:
Why can we not talk about issues from the pulpit that are very clearly talked about in scripture? For instance, I had not dare bring up the issue of pacifism in the pulpit (and I am referring here to dialogue of pacifism and not an advertisement for commitment) without fear of being shunned by the Church (read loose my job). We cannot talk about issues of social justice without being labeled as followers of the social gospel and being dismissed. We cannot talk about alternative views of eschatology without having our faith questioned. We cannot question our unbridled commitment to capitalism without being labeled a communist. My questions are numerous, but they all boil down to one simple fact: we are scared of the volatile and unpredictable nature of the gospel. The scriptures raise questions about life but until we are able to take those questions seriously, I doubt our ability to truely be effective ministers and churches that are participating in the missio dei.