Isaiah 52:7 – How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!” (NIV 1984)
My Musings – In the spring of 1991, following an immensely successful invasion of Iraq, President Bush’s (the first one) approval rating was 90%. He was considered unbeatable as he looked ahead to his reelection bid the following year. Then, the economy began to sour, and by late summer of 1992 (just weeks before the election) 64% of Americans disapproved of his job performance. With this dramatic reversal of fortune, the Clinton campaign’s slogan became “it’s the economy, stupid!” The slogan’s intent was to keep the campaign focused on the real issue of that year’s presidential election – the economy, President Bush’s Achilles’ heel. They could have lost their way and become side-tracked on less important or even non-essential issues and lost the election. The slogan was meant to be the rallying cry to get them back on track to what was important in order to win the election. It did and they did.
I think evangelical Christianity is in need of a similar slogan today to get it back to its “prime directive” – It’s the Gospel, stupid! My intent here is not to throw rocks at someone else’s “glass house,” because I consider myself to be an evangelical Christian. But what does the term evangelical Christian mean anyway? Here is an excerpt from someone else’s musings [with some editorializing by me thrown in] that might prove helpful ( from https://www.gotquestions.org/evangelical-Christian.html):
“In Western culture today, there are many caricatures of evangelical Christians. For some [perhaps an understatement], the term evangelical Christian is equivalent to ‘right-wing, fundamentalist Republican.’ There is no doubt that holding to the fundamentals of the Bible will result in a certain worldview and, yes, political [political maybe, moral certainly] beliefs. However, there is nothing about being an evangelical that demands a certain political party or affiliation [or gives them a monopoly on morality].”
“The term Christian essentially means ‘follower of Christ.’ The term evangelical comes from the Greek word that means “good news.” Evangelism is sharing the good news of the salvation that is available through Jesus Christ. An evangelical, then, is a person dedicated to promoting the good news about Jesus Christ. Combined, the description “evangelical Christian” is intended to indicate a believer in Jesus Christ who is faithful in sharing and promoting the good news.”
“A Christian is called [actually commissioned by Christ] to share [evangelize] the good news [Gospel], to preach God’s Word, and to set an example of [not dictate to] purity and integrity. If these callings require [require may be too strong of a term] political action, so be it. At the same time, evangelical Christians should not be sidetracked into abandoning our highest calling—sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
So, back to my musing. It’s the Gospel, stupid! Gospel is a word that is derived from the Anglo-Saxon godspell denoting “glad tidings” or “good news” (Baker encyclopedia of the Bible). Among other definitions, stupid means not intelligent, not sensible, not interesting or worthwhile (Merriam-Webster).
Evangelical Christians need not be apolitical, nor should they compromise their convictions or beliefs in the name of political expediency. Speaking the truth in love is not mutually exclusive. We should not speak the truth in an offensive or hateful manner, nor should the truth need to be silenced or watered down in order to keep peace and love. While we cannot keep the world from hating us (Jesus said they would because they hated Him), nor finding the Gospel offensive (Paul said many would), we need not be hateful or offensive such that others find the “good news” to be “not intelligent, sensible, interesting or worthwhile” because of how we proclaim it.
My Advice – Let’s share what’s in our “lunchbox” with love and concern. Let’s not beat others over the head with it in arrogance or self-righteousness. It’s the Gospel, stupid! Let’s stay on task (get back on track). Let’s help win the “election” for the lost. Let’s keep our feet “beautiful” by bringing “good news,” proclaiming “peace,” bringing “good tidings,” and proclaiming “salvation.” After all, its the only “campaign” with eternal consequences. Our God reigns!