What does your lifestyle say about your gospel? The thought recently occurred to me that Christian’s can’t preach a gospel of “the first shall be last” and still drive a BMW. Now, it’s not really about BMW’s. I’ve got nothing against people who drive a BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Lexus, Acura, Toyota, Honda, Chevy, or any other make of vehicle. You can substitute just about anything in that statement.
Can you preach a gospel of “the first shall be last” and…
Drive any luxury or new vehicle
Wear Vera Wang dresses or tailored suits
Live in a million dollar home
Send your kids to private school
Attend a mega-church
One individual responded to me and simply said “I’m not convinced that mega-churches and prosperity Christianity have much in common with the teachings of Jesus.” I’d agree.
In his book Radical David Platt shares a conversation he had with a gentleman while doing mission work in Asia. The man pointed out all the beautiful churches and blessings that American Christian’s have and asked “Do we not have these things because we lack faith?”
Now to clarify, I have a lot of nice stuff. More stuff than I need. I live comfortably in a nice home with all the comforts I need and then some. But as I read books like Radical or The Hole in Our Gospel, I immediately start looking around at all the things I haven’t used in months. The things I’ve spent money on because I could, but really didn’t need. I receive a packet in the mail from Joaquim the child I sponsor in Mozambique through World Vision and I remember that new TV or DVD could have provided him with a whole month of food and tuition.
This has nothing to do with how spiritual, generous, loving, kind, etc. a person might be. I know many beautifully generous and affluent Christians who give lavishly for the benefit of the ministries in their church. But at the end of the day, whether you drive a Mercedes or a Kia, what does that tell the person who walks through the doors of your church? If we idolize a model where our gospel is reflected in material blessings, how inviting is that to the person who is struggling to provide food for their family? It’s about the image that you portray to the world of Jesus.
Can we truly preach a gospel of meekness, generosity, compassion, and service while we merely pray that God would end the suffering of fellow believers around the world?