A “Junk Drawer” Gospel!

If there is one thing I know about most people, it is that we all have a junk drawer (or three) in our homes. Maybe even in our cars or offices. This junk drawer is full of all of the stuff that we can’t remember where it goes, we have leftover parts of something important but can’t remember what, and most of us have batteries in there as well.

I think that the “Big C” Church has made the same mistake when it comes to the Gospel. We have made the Gospel a container of all the things we feel are important… to us personally. Yes, we opened it once for our salvation, and yet as we get older, the container of the Gospel often becomes the junk drawer in which we put our most pressing and concerning issues.; You know, the things that we feel the most passionate about.

As I was thinking this week about the many things that have been going on in the world as of late, I was reminded of the many times I have been asked why I don’t tend to speak up quickly (or even at all) about current social issues; such as the recent Mass Shootings, Asian Hate, Black Lives Matter, Racism, the current battle of Vaccine vs No Vaccine, and the like. I have also been asked how I can separate the Gospel from any one of the above-mentioned social issues, and call myself a Pastor!?!

Honestly, the answer is easy. Social issues are NOT the Gospel! And to elaborate further, the Gospel is NOT there to solve social issues.

The Gospel is specifically defined in the Bible: Romans 10:9-13

“9 If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. 11 As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.” 12 Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him. 13 For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

THAT IS THE GOSPEL!

There are many Christians who have diluted the Gospel by confusing the things in the drawer for their use and support as though it were the gospel itself. Things such as activism, compassion, a cry for equality, safety, and the need for correcting history. When we label the aforementioned things as ‘the gospel’, then when we open the drawer of our gospel, these are the things that tend to be the front-and-center portion of our message. I’m not saying that talking about the current issues is not needed, I’m saying that the issues in-and-of-themselves are not the message of the Gospel. The Gospel should be our driving force when speaking to social issues. However, when we as the body of Christ speak out in opposition to the current social issues, but NEVER proclaim the Gospel, we do the Gospel of Jesus a complete disservice.

Can you imagine wanting to speak the Gospel to any and everyone we meet, just like we want to talk about current social issues every time we see someone? What if we shared the Gospel in every post on social media, or at least as much as we talk about the current social issue plaguing our thoughts. But what tends to happen is we open the junk drawer we have labeled ‘Gospel’, and we grab the current issue we want to discuss, and we hammer it like a nail as though it were the Gospel itself. And then we wonder why in this day and age of technology, connect-ability, and information we can’t seem to get people to “come to church”. It’s because we have shared the wrong ‘gospel’ with them. What this does is rescues people from hell on earth, but it damns them to hell for eternity because we fail to share the REAL Gospel!

Our responsibility as disciples of Jesus Christ is to preach the Gospel to the world. But first, we have to de-junkify the drawer with what we may have added to the Gospel and get back to the pure understanding that we are all sinners in need of the saving grace of Jesus. Then and only then will the hearts of men/women be changed. And with changed hearts, if we all try hard, we may be able to overcome some, not all, of the social issues out there today, tomorrow, and whatever may come in the future.