Paul strenuously advocated for an unencumbered Gospel. Any other ‘gospel’ was anathema! He opposed the ‘Judiazers’ who would insist on the legal requirements of Judaism. This ‘addition’ to the simple Good News was not to be the last. In our day there are fresher encumbrances. These are mostly cultural, one of the over riding ones is Patriotism. A strange mixture of ‘God and Country’ grips the landscape. It is but a fresher form of the harmful Judiazers. This is important to remember as July 1st and July 4th loom.
This year is a particularly painful one as Canada faces the historic abuses of the past. The voices of hundreds of children seem to cry out from the grave, “Look at what you have done!” An oxymoron comes to mind. This was a benign genocide! Perpetrators were imposing a language, a culture, a religion that they held as superior. The horrific abuse was carried out by Church and State in lockstep. Both had a ‘good’ in mind, never thinking that their ‘good’ could be so evil. The Church had added culture, language, to the Good News and it became very bad news indeed!
The answer lies not in orange ribbons but in repentant hearts. I belief God would invite us to a place of lament for this sinful anti-biblical attitude. This lament is to include an examination not just of past wrong but current wrong attitudes. What am I adding to the simple Gospel?
The early Church did not use coercive tactics or additions to the Good News but simply proclaimed and lived out the Lordship of Jesus. The unadulterated Gospel proved attractive, while our version is so often repugnant.
True repentance does not stop at lament but in changed hearts. While there may be corporate actions to make amends, our individual response can be about never again adding to the invitation to believe and receive the simple Good News of Jesus love.
Perhaps patriotism has a place but if it does it must be in its proper place in submission to our primary allegiance the Jesus as Lord and to His Kingdom.
Happy Canada Day!