First Person: Save a baby; share the Gospel
Five hundred million dollars. That’s how much of our tax dollars went to funding an institution whose sole purpose is to fight against the value of life. This insight became public knowledge when in its latest annual report Planned Parenthood listed that it had received approximately $487 million of funding from the federal government. That same report showed a steady increase in the number of abortions performed at its clinics and a steady decrease in referrals for adoption.
Those numbers have lit a match in an already combustible political season. Christians are rightly disgusted and ashamed that our money continues to support an evil industry. But abortion is just one part of a cultural battle Christians feel obligated to fight in. Political wars are being waged on the cultural battlefield, and politicians are lining up to champion their particular position. Christians are being called to rally the vote and to show our political power in the face of a shifting cultural scene. And Christian culture warriors are marching and gathering and voting as messengers for the Truth. Such fervor and passion is necessary, but we must also be assured of this—it is not enough.
Christians, we must all be reminded that real, lasting cultural change comes through one activity: sharing the Gospel. If you want to stand up for life, if you want to stand up against gay marriage, if you want to stand up in the face of a shifting culture . . . the best way to do that is to share the Gospel with your neighbor. As redeemed children of God, we must remember what we ultimately fight for. We are called to wage war and to be willing to die not for the kingdom of cultural conservatism but for the Kingdom of Christ . . . that fight is waged in an evangelistic battle against the spirits of darkness that blind the eyes of the abortionist and the homosexual.
I love our political passion. Our silence on the issues would be sin. But often, there can be something of a sadness behind our activism. There is a sadness to our message when we pound our pulpits against a homosexual agenda, but do not have an equal passion to pursue the conversion of the homosexual. It is seen when we weep for the unborn and lay roses and craft crosses for their graves, but that passion for life somehow does not move us to share Christ with the family across the street who sit daily in the graves of their dead hearts.
Why? Why does our passion flame so brightly for a political message, but grow dim with the gospel message? Why will we rail against Washington and its cohorts like soldiers ready to battle, but cruise inconspicuously past the houses of our neighbors?
The reason: it is easy to cast a vote. It is difficult to share the Gospel.
The polling place is quiet, unassuming, even anonymous. You walk in. You walk out. You have done your duty. You can now proudly slap a pro-life slogan bumper sticker on your Volvo and go home. Evangelism is just the opposite. It is by its very nature confrontational. Every time you share the Gospel, you enter into enemy territory. Every time you step on your neighbor’s porch or begin a conversation with your gay colleague, you are taking part in a battle that is otherworldly. And that is frightening.
And because of our fear, we fool ourselves into thinking we have fought for life and right, when truthfully we fall short of the fight Christ really calls us to.
Satan will gladly let you win an election cycle if it will keep you from sharing the Gospel. He will willingly let you win against Roe v. Wade if you will accept that as your victory. He will give you whatever you ask if you’ll give up seeking the spread of the Kingdom.
Our lives will testify every week just how much we cherish life. Every day that you don’t talk to that lost single mother in your neighborhood is a testimony. Every time you say, “Hi,” to that family of four who live next door and talk to them about football and hot dogs and how-do-you-do’s but never broach the subject of Christ is a testimony. Our silence in evangelism is deafening. And it is only made that much more obvious when it is compared to the clamor we make over every other issue.
Culture isn’t changed and the nation is not won back in an election cycle, but rather when Christians realize what our ultimate goal is in this world. No more being satisfied with political sound bites. No more rallying in Washington as a sign of revival. Speak for the unborn. Rally for the meaning of marriage. But don’t stop there. The sound America needs to hear comes when we talk to the lost about the saving grace of Christ. The start of true American revival will begin not on the grandiose steps of the White House, but on the unassuming concrete of our neighbor’s porch, as Christians everywhere stand up for life, stand up for values and stand up for morality by standing face to face with our neighbors and tell them about King Jesus and His Kingdom.
We can’t fool ourselves. We can’t fool the American people. And we certainly aren’t fooling our heavenly Father. He whispers gently in our ears as the houses pass by, “You want to save a baby? You want to protect marriage? Share my Gospel.”
Chris Gore is pastor of Beggs, First.