Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Why Boldness Matters Now

Jonathan Parnell: 
...when tensions are high and Christians are marginalized, our witness can feel increasingly complex. Articulating the person and work of Jesus doesn’t appear to answer the questions that confront us the most. People don’t want to hear about Jesus, they want to hear what we think about the issues. The issues — that’s the temptation. If we’re not careful, our witness in the world will be shriveled down to just our stance on the next hot topic. That will become our focus. That will be the main conversation we have and the primary object of our energy.

Hear me clearly: there are deathly important questions in our world, and our conviction is indispensable. We need to say it. And then say it again. And at the same time, we need to remember that our mission in this world is not about a stance, but a message. We have deathly important things to say about marriage, but the most radical, controversial thing that we will ever say is “Jesus is Lord.” There is nothing more counter-cultural than telling the world that the crucified Messiah is raised and reigning, and that therefore now “God commands all people everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30).

The gospel of Jesus’s lordship is the best and wildest news anyone will ever hear. And it’s the most important thing we have to say. In fact, it’s because of his lordship that any other issue matters. Jesus is Lord, not the state, not you or me, and therefore his definitions are what really count. Whether we build our arguments from natural law or what have you, the Christian can only faithfully think and act when it’s in respect to Jesus’s reign. His reign and what it means for souls is what we should know best how to articulate. Say everything that is important, but be clear about Jesus, mainly.

So because ideas are everywhere out there and always pulling at us, and because high tensions want to trivialize our main message, we should be bold — that is, we should be very clear and outspoken about who Jesus is and what he has done.
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