Voltaire I believe it was who once counseled that we must never allow the perfect to be the enemy of the good. However, Voltaire was a deist, not a Christian. In Christianity we aim for perfection. Period!
Unfortunately it appears that we are inclined to take Voltaire’s advice to heart a little too much in the present age. The radical transformation that scriptures speak so loudly about is found to be too difficult to attain, so we aim a little lower. Where the cross of Jesus targets sin at its root cause, we nip at the symptoms. We must be careful not to embrace advocacies that have more to do with morality, patriotism, culture and denominationalism.
Businesses will occasionally take stock of their financial situation and strategize for focus and brand preservation. The Church needs to refocus the agenda on Jesus Christ. We are so invested we can barely preach the gospel. The temptation, for instance, is that a marriage ministry may become more focused on the married than on Marriage for the Lamb’s sake (I Corinthians 7:29-31). Nothing pleases Satan more than two happily married souls marching to hell. A healing ministry is good, as long as it knows that the body healed will soon die, but a soul healed is souled forever – Mark 1:34 -38.
The temptation to focus on social justice is another distraction. The Christianity of Jesus is not opposed to social justice, but the Christianity of Jesus is not an advocacy for social justice (Matthew 5:40). Some Saints are inclined to politics, all Saints enjoy the benefits of good governance and pains of a failing political system, but Christianity deals with a matter that is of greater consequence than the fate of nations. Though we may be interested in the arts, sciences and humanities and do contribute our fair share in all of these fields, we must know that all these are fleeting attractions. We render services as lawyers, doctors, shoemakers, traders, athletes etc., but these are things we do, not who we are. First and foremost we are Christians, representatives of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God.
Our advocacy is narrow, we do not apologize for that; we are volunteers for Jesus.
This is the message that must drive every Believers Bible Class. Only Christians can preach the Good News. God made birds to sing, soldiers to fight, governors to govern, kings to rule, Judges to judge etc., but He made Christians to bear witness to Jesus Christ. We are often accused of being so heavenly minded that we are useless on earth, but only chiefly by those who are hardly heavenly minded, nor know the fate of mankind in earth.
Beware of all theologies that remove the focus from Jesus: liberation theology, liberal theology, social theology, scriptural contextualization etc. Zacchaeus the tree-hugger knew no theology yet he scored a dinner date with the King of Creation. Beware of scriptural specialists: prosperity teachers, miracle teachers, healing teachers, faith teachers and all similar ones who divvy up the grace of God into independent specializations. Insist on being a Christian and nothing more. Find the space where Jesus is and remain there.
In America, Christians are in arms over the banning of prayers in public school. This has become a pet advocacy for the Church. I do not sympathize with this struggle. Before the government took away prayers from public schools, Christians took away the emphasis on prayer from the Churches’ pews. Prayer is not a right that can be repealed or promulgated, so we needn’t be afraid of what the government does. Neither do I sympathize with the resurgent advocacy for the protection of the definition of marriage. Maybe we worry so much about how the courts define marriage because we increasingly derive our definition of marriage from the courts. Concerning the anti-abortion advocacy, I wonder why we act so surprised that the world is full of evil, I would think that was why Jesus came. If only we as a Church could show the world the better way by the way we live, there would be less abortions in the world.
Furthermore, beware of the hysteria over gay rights. Anti-gay agenda is not a Christian agenda. It is easier to hate on gays than to love one. Remember they were about to stone the woman caught in adultery as well before Jesus showed up. It is easier to set up an advocacy than to practice love and preach to the heart of issues. We must not be hypocrites; the temperature of hell is same all over for all categories of sinners. The Christian method is prayer, love, humility and the Good News – the testimony of a transformed life is a threat to darkness. Every Christian that lives for Jesus does more harm to evil than all the fancy programs and seminal that we organize. If we are faithful in doing what Jesus says, righteousness will reign.
Our Lord Jesus was a study in focus. When asked about food, His answer, “I am the bread of life” Talk about the grave and He says, “I am the resurrection and life.” About money, the Lord had this to say: “what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose His soul”. He is also the way, the truth and the life. You could never get the Lord Jesus off topic. A Church begins to go under the day it begins to remove its focus from the Lord Jesus Christ. The Apostle once said, “For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom, but we preach Jesus crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks, foolishness. But unto them which are called…Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.”