I was hit with an overwhelming conviction today. As all forms of social media exploded in an array of colors amid shouts of victory and progress, I felt a sadness I hadn’t expected. It was a sadness followed by the heavy hand of eternal accountability. I realized, on the way to the cross we had lost half our Bible and I was a contributor.
As we sought to love people, be gracious, unified, and nice, the Church lost the words of Paul when he said to the Ephesian elders that he was innocent of the blood of all men because he hadn’t shrunk back from declaring to them the whole purpose of God (Acts 20:26-27). The cry of the Church went from declaring the entirety of God’s Word, to diligently seeking to avoid uncomfortable disagreement by reducing the Bible down to its lowest common denominator. With our actions we inadvertently set a standard that if a doctrine isn’t a “salvation issue” then it belongs to the classroom, the scholar, and those who like to count the number of angels dancing on the head of a pin. Essentially, we have made everything but the cross irrelevant.
As a result, we can no longer say with Paul, “we are innocent of the blood of all men”. No, we are guilty, very guilty. In our rush to get to the cross, stay at the cross, and be focused on the cross, we have robbed the cross of its power. Without the Old Testament the New makes little sense and has little meaning.
In our rush to the cross, we forgot about the Creator and His purposes in creation. We forgot that He is the Lord in Heaven, the One who spoke creation into existence, the One who holds individuals as well as kings and kingdoms in His hand. We forgot to teach His holiness, His hand of justice, discipline, and righteous anger. We have failed to preach about idolatry, self-worship, and God’s righteous jealousy. The result is that there is little commitment to the Creator’s Lordship over His creation and that our existence, all of it, finds its origins in His divine act of order and creation. Today was merely a culminating event.
To me though, the real sadness is watching former students and people we led in ministry celebrate with the world and forget their God. We are to blame, though, for far too often we left half of our Bible at the foot of the cross.
It is time to pick it up again, put it back together, and as the people of God, commit ourselves to the whole counsel of God. All of it, because in it all is where we truly find the power and meaning in the cross as well as our dire need for it.