It is my firm conviction Christian values have been more prized than the Christian gospel since America’s inception. That is, many of us get more excited over seeing our favorite political candidate win an election than we do over God saving a sinner. That’s why, by the way, the phrase “God and country” is able to garner energy and support behind it. But what about the phrase “Christ and him crucified”, does that get as much energy and support? No.
What do I mean by Christian values? Monogamous marriage, the right to life, the nuclear family, the good of prayer and church attendance, a strong military, the American way of life. We fight tooth and nail to see these values take root in our country. This is what I mean by “Christianizing” culture. It’s the attempt made by many to see these “Christian” values come to be shared by as many people as possible in our nation. But there’s been an elephant in the room.
Christianity has been seen as the best way to get these values to take root in our country. We’ve used and abused Christianity to get our values embedded in the fabric of our society while we’ve completely missed Jesus and the gospel. The result? We have millions of people who have been deceived into thinking they’re Christians because they hold to “Christian” values. Believing in monogamous marriage, the right to life and a strong military doesn’t make you a Christian.
The mission of the church is to lead with the gospel. The gospel must come first. Therefore, our energy is meant to be spent not trying to convert people to values, but to repent of their sin and turn in faith to Christ. After all, what does it profit a person to “convert” to the pro-life position, but lose one’s soul?