Christianity is Not a Means to an End

One thing that I have found incredibly disturbing is the American church’s tendency to conflate Christianity with being American. As if the only way to be truly Christian is to embrace American values, and to promote the Republican Party platform. Because owning a small militia’s worth of guns and kicking people out of the country is in the Bible, right? Not that I’m anti-gun or pro-illegal immigration, but really?
I heard some radio host who had Ted Cruz on his program introduce him by saying he was “doing God’s work.” One could very well be doing God’s work in politics, but it was pretty obvious what he meant: Cruz was pushing for political conservatism and Republicanism, and such things are obviously what God wants. Because America.
Friends, God’s work is to save people’s souls from judgment, not from socialism (I’m not socialist either; actually I’m quite opposed to it). Our work is to preach the gospel and live in light of it. Does that mean combating tyranny? Sure. Does that mean working to make the country better? It very well may. But those things are not ends in and of themselves, and Christianity is certainly not the means to that end. Christianity is the end. The other things are side effects.
“Christianity will indeed accomplish many useful things in this world, but if it is accepted in order to accomplish those useful things it is not Christianity. Christianity will combat Bolshevism; but if it is accepted in order to combat Bolshevism, it is not Christianity: Christianity will produce a unified nation, in a slow but satisfactory way; but if it is accepted in order to produce a unified nation, it is not Christianity: Christianity will produce a heathy community; but if it is accepted in order to produce a healthy community, it is not Christianity: Christianity will promote international peace; but if it is accepted in order to promote international peace, it is not Christianity. Our Lord said: ‘Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.’ But if you seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness in order that all those other things may be added unto you, you will miss both those other things and the Kingdom of God as well.” —J. Gresham Machen, Christianity and Liberalism, pp. 127–128

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