THE Glaring Omission of a Generation

THE GLARING OMISSION of a generation of American evangelicalism is precisely the one thing Jesus demands we have if we follow Him.

Its absence has permitted scholars and leaders to sit in judgment of the scriptures…

Its absence has enticed millions to embrace LGBTQ…

Its absence has defrauded generations from engaging their destiny on missions fields…

Its absence has allowed the Church in our culture to pursue, sell and endorse endless fantasy, wealth and consumerism without restraint…

Its absence has confused the world’s understanding of the gospel as we do battle over political matters…

Its absence has corrupted the Church’s vision of power and greatness…

Its absence has given our children and our children’s children open license to bottomless carnality…

Its absence has allowed us to live in, and even celebrate enmity, unforgiveness, “raca” and malice…

With it present in our lives…

…it obliterates our rebellion,

…it purges our sinful hearts, 

…it buries our falsehood, 

…it defines wholeheartedness, 

…it propels us to the lost,

…it enables us to turn enemies into brothers,

and it empowers us to manifest first-commandment love, and the breathing Presence of Jesus in our worlds.

In 40+ years within American evangelicalism, I’ve never had a class or attended a conference or break-out-session that had it as its emphasis.

You’re hard pressed to find a leader who has published a single book on the topic in the 80’s, 90’s, 00’s, 10’s.

Singers and musicians are the ones among us who most often reference this necessity…

…but we almost never (can’t think of one instance) when a pastor/leader/teacher has explicitly explained, detailed, taught about the topic in a practical and Biblical way.

It’s an omission that’s especially peculiar to the wealthiest, most free, rights conscious, mutually affirming Christian church in the history of the world.

It’s not included in the material that we give and teach to new believers…

…even though its the most ubiquitous way that Jesus bids individuals, groups and leaders into relationship with Himself.

Its also what Jesus calls “satanic” when His disciples attempt to live in His Kingdom without it.

When I look at the way the American Church justifies celebrating celebrities while ignoring foreign missionaries; touting war and hostility while allowing peacemakers to sit quietly in the corner; creates wholesale theologies that tackle Jesus’ call to racial compassion and contrition; and even champion political candidates with an antiChrist spirit, I don’t wonder why. (I really don’t.) We’re the trees of seeds that have been planted for as long as most of us have been believers in Jesus of Nazareth. We have no grid for what has not been planted, valued, encouraged, and cultivated in us…

And in an hour when the judgments of the Lord are upon us, unless we develop a paradigm where the “it” becomes the norm instead of an exception millions of our American sisters and brothers will suffer real shipwreck of faith.

____________________
JSB • December 2, 2022

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