Lately I have been getting a bit … challenged by statements in the media and social networks on how the church should be more [tolerant; inclusive; non-discriminatory; etc]. Then what is more disturbing is that some have started stressing the point that they are these things and you almost feel as if they are adding hashtags to the Gospel. #inclusiveJesus; #DiversityGospel; #JesusisPoliticallyCorrect etc.
Please don’t get me wrong. Some of the things stated in social media are worthy and valuable, what concerns me is what are we responding to, the world or the Spirit of God?
As the Body of Christ, we are not and never should be about “Inclusivity” or “Tolerance” or any of these labels. We are His and we set ourselves to reflecting and following Him.
But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. Romans 6:22
Once we make something such a high priority (even when it’s a noble cause), we become slaves to it. It becomes the driving force of our lives and shapes our decisions. We even begin shaping Jesus to fit with our cause. In fact, we will find that the thing we place in the centre of our lives begins to change us. We begin to alter ourselves to line up with what we value. We adopt behaviours and conduct that reflects those values, even if they were incompatible with what we previously held to be right and true. When we place Christ as our centre but then replace Him with a social value we may be fine for a while but eventually there will be a fork in the road. Following Christ may mean acting against the world’s definition of that value. Now, we may struggle for a while, but a choice is needed. Each choice leads to an outcome, one draws you into deeper intimacy with God, the other…
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rom 6:23
Wages are “what is due” to you. God doesn’t punish you for sin or “get you”. Death is the outworking of sin. It is what is due. But choosing to pursue other things means God can’t save you. We have chosen to reject the Cross and all it is.
That is why we cannot change the Gospel. It’s because salvation is an act of God through Christ. In fact, it is Christ. We don’t define Him, He defines Himself and we, as a His body reflect Him. That is also why we don’t condemn and stand in judgement, we simply state outcomes of choices. A life that rejects Christ leads to death, drawing near to Christ receives His gift, life.