My name is Keith Giles. I love to write so that people can know Jesus and experience His life in their own.
So, I started this blog to help people understand who Jesus is, and how He reveals what the Father is really like.
This is a safe place to talk about all those questions you've had about the Bible, and Christianity. It's also a place to learn how to put the words of Jesus into practice.
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
A few days ago I received an email from a friend of mine. He
was sharing with me his frustration over the apparent blindness that many
Christians seem to have when it comes to following Jesus.
His experience was that every time he attempted to talk
about doing what Jesus commanded us to do – like loving our enemies, turning
the other cheek, caring for the poor, etc. – the responses he kept receiving
were comments like, “But the Founding Fathers say…”, or “The Constitution
says..”, or “Common sense tells you…”, and
This isn’t something new to me. I’ve had – and continue to
have – similar conversations with Christians on almost a daily basis.
So, what’s going on here? Why is this such an ongoing
problem in the American Church today? What can we do about it?
I have a few ideas.
What’s going on?
Most Christians simply do not understand the Gospel, plain
and simple. I know this because – only about 10 years ago – I was also unaware
of what the actual Gospel was all about. Keep in mind, I was also a licensed
and ordained Southern Baptist pastor at that time.
See, I used to believe that the Gospel was about saying a
prayer so that I could go to heaven when I die.
But that’s not the Gospel.
The Gospel – or the “Good News” – that Jesus came and died
to proclaim is found (curiously enough) in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke
Here’s what the “Good News” (or the Gospel) is according to the
“Jesus went throughout
Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom..”
“Jesus went into
Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. “The time has come,” he said. “The
kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mar. 1:14-15)
“But he said, “I must
proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because
that is why I was sent.” (Luk. 4:43)
Wait a minute, what does this have to do with why Christians
confuse America with the Kingdom of God?
See, because Christians have confused the Gospel with saying
a prayer so you can go to heaven, they’ve neglected to see the Gospel as
something that is for here and now. That has led us to a Christianity that is
largely about something that only starts to kick in once we’re dead – rather than
a Gospel that’s about a way of life that starts once you decide to follow
It’s also a problem because Christians today largely do not
see their faith as something to be lived out. Instead, they see their faith as
something that needs to be believed.
Once you reduce the Gospel as something that only needs to
be believed – and not obeyed – then you can simply read the words of Jesus and
say, “I believe that!” and think that you’ve done all that Jesus asks of you.
Of course, if we think a little longer about that we’ll see
that this makes no sense – and that it’s not at all what Jesus says.
If your parents told you to clean your room and your response
was, “I believe that!”, do you think you’d be an obedient child?
Obviously, Jesus gave very specific commands to his
disciples (that’s what the NT calls “Christians”) and his constant refrain was
that those who love Him obey Him, and those who do not love Him do not obey.
(See John 14: 15-24)
What we have today in America is a Christian Church that is
filled with people who have “prayed the prayer” and “believe the Gospel” but
they do not see the words of Jesus as being for them today, nor do they
understand that the Gospel is about submitting to the Kingship of Jesus in
their actual, daily life.
How do I know this? Because on almost a daily basis I encounter
Christians who respond to the clear commands of Jesus with a long list of “Yeah,
Another serious problem we have is that Christians in
America have confused their faith with American Christianity. In other words,
to be a good Christians means being a good American. More specifically, in my
experience at least, being a good Christian means being a conservative
In essence, many Christians in America can’t untangle Jesus
from their politics.
I sometimes try to help those people think differently by
saying: “Imagine that someone in North Korea or Communist China hears the
Gospel and repents and begins to genuinely follow Jesus. Are they now also a
See, the fact is that most of the Christians on this planet
are not American, or Republican. In fact, most of them aren’t even Capitalists.
I would take this even further by suggesting that no
Christian should ever identify as a Capitalist, or a Socialist, or as a
Republican or a Democrat, or as an American or any other nationality.
According to the Gospel, everyone in Christ is now a new
creation. The old has gone and the new is now here. That means, in the Church,
there is now no longer any Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male nor female, etc.
but we are all one in Christ Jesus. [It’s in the NT, trust me].
Jesus is our life. Jesus is our king. His Kingdom is now our
home. We pledge allegiance to no one else – and to no other nation – except for
Jesus and His Kingdom.
This nation – the United States of America – will soon pass
away. In fact, it MUST pass away in order for the eternal Kingdom of Jesus to
be fully established here on earth – so must every other nation and government,
and every political ideology and man-made philosophy. [And why would we want to
put our energies into propping up a nation or a political system that is
destined for the ash can when we could be working towards advancing the Kingdom
If we really believe these things, then it’s time to start
living all of that out.
Jesus is Lord. He is Lord right now. He is my Lord. His
commands are binding on me because I am already a citizen of His eternal
Kingdom. It doesn’t matter what the Constitution says. It doesn’t matter what
anyone else thinks. Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega. Everyone else is only a
pretender to the throne.
So, let’s swear allegiance to Jesus and commit ourselves to
Him and His Kingdom and begin to put His words into practice starting today.
Or, as Jesus phrased it: “Why do you call me ‘Lord, lord’
and do not do what I say?” – Jesus