“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account!”
Matthew 5: 11
In a recent airing of “The View” the ever disrespectful Joy Bahar suggested that Christians are suffering from “mental illness.” She reserved her most caustic and mocking comments for Vice-President Pence. Her remarks were so vulgar and indecent even some liberal commentators rebuked her. None of this surprised me. Something else did.
A couple of nights later, the incident was discussed on a Fox News program where a liberal commentator was asked if she agreed that Ms. Bahar had gone over the top. Surprisingly, she did. But then she said something additional. Namely, that in any case, if Vice President Pence was really a Christian he would talk and act like one. Why would she say such a thing? Why would she say that Mr. Pence has said far worse things proving, by the way, that he is not a Christian. Huh? She is talking about Pence’s opposition to gay marriage and abortion.
Many critics who do not understand the Gospel have their own definition of it. For them, it is essentially “Love your neighbor as yourself.” They have no concept that the Gospel is really about the availability of an abundant life with a knowledge of God and His ways. Thus, when Mr. Pence supported a gay marriage ban as the Governor of Indiana, he was labelled as a cruel and ignorant religious fanatic.
Does this matter? Of course. It reflects the ONE CRITICAL AND FUNDAMENTAL TRUTH ABOUT BIBLICAL FAITH: it calls us to love God and His ways with an ever-present concern for His requirements! The “Gospel” reduced to “Love your neighbor” has no room for sin and judgment. It dismisses any notion of Hell and repentance. It fumes at the idea that Jesus is the exclusive way to salvation (John 14:6). In short, this talk-show Gospel is an age-old attempt to redefine the reason Christ came.
Paul put that reason this way: 1 Timothy 1:15 (NIV) “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners–of whom I am the worst.” The Gospel according to “The View” says Jesus came to encourage us to love our neighbors and nothing more. Ironically, loving our neighbors most importantly means sharing the Good News that Paul just gave us! We are sinners in need of salvation. Pray for Ms. Bahar and the guest on Fox that night. Let’s consider them neighbors who need to come under conviction of sin and turn to the real Gospel and be saved.