I’ve been pretty silent on the subject, and had a chance to watch the Restoring Honor rally myself, and followed David’s liveblog of the Divine Destiny event the night before. I felt I needed to weigh in, but wanted it to do it here since David has so thoroughly covered it at Caffeinated Thoughts.
I’ve been disappointed, but not surprised, by the lack of discernment shown by some of my evangelical brothers and sisters. It seems that we many are ok with American nationalism and Mormon theology being confused for the Gospel of Christ. Russell Moore in his summary of Friday’s event nailed it when he said:
A Mormon television star stands in front of the Lincoln Memorial and calls American Christians to revival. He assembles some evangelical celebrities to give testimonies, and then preaches a God and country revivalism that leaves the evangelicals cheering that they’ve heard the gospel, right there in the nation’s capital.
The news media pronounces him the new leader of America’s Christian conservative movement, and a flock of America’s Christian conservatives have no problem with that.
Let’s be clear, whatever happened on Friday, wasn’t the Gospel. It was an American Civic Religion that was proclaimed, but it isn’t something to be celebrated by those who are Christ followers. Actually, it is something to mourn. But yet I noticed on Twitter and on Facebook, Christians celebrating this event.
Just to clear up my position, there is much in which I could work with Mormons, Jews, and other religious conservatives on… pro-life issues, pro-family issues, etc. I have many areas of agreement with Glenn Beck, but when it comes to bringing about a religious revival he loses me. Revival will not occur through pluralism. Moore continues:
Too often, and for too long, American “Christianity” has been a political agenda in search of a gospel useful enough to accommodate it. There is a liberation theology of the Left, and there is also a liberation theology of the Right, and both are at heart mammon worship. The liberation theology of the Left often wants a Barabbas, to fight off the oppressors as though our ultimate problem were the reign of Rome and not the reign of death. The liberation theology of the Right wants a golden calf, to represent religion and to remind us of all the economic security we had in Egypt. Both want a Caesar or a Pharaoh, not a Messiah…
…Where there is no gospel, something else will fill the void: therapy, consumerism, racial or class resentment, utopian politics, crazy conspiracy theories of the left, crazy conspiracy theories of the right; anything will do. The prophet Isaiah warned us of such conspiracies replacing the Word of God centuries ago (Is. 8:12–20). As long as the Serpent’s voice is heard, “You shall not surely die,” the powers are comfortable.
What we need is Jesus reigning in the hearts of men. What we need is Christ and Him crucified. Only the Gospel can bring about transformation. Anything else is a cheap substitute that can not last and lacks eternal value. Moore points out that any “revival” that takes place without the spirit of Christ takes place through some other spirit as the Apostle John warned:
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already, (1 John 4:1-3, ESV).
So while the Friday night event was inspiring to some, and while Saturday was patriotic those events can’t accomplish the work only God can do (and has done) through Christ. It may be unpopular to say, “but I can do no other.” I’m a Christian first, and a conservative second.
HT: The Spyglass