You may have read my title and thought Geez could you have found a better way to say it? I don’t think so. You see the gospel is a story. It’s a wonderfully terrible story. It’s one that makes you gasp, shout, cry, tremble, and rejoice. There’s a requisite complexity in the story. There’s a darkness to it (although there’s much more light). But the story has been pillaged.
It’s been pillaged by the liberal “Christians” who don’t like all that miracle stuff. I mean who really likes a story with a little bit of magic? No one likes a Gandalf or Aslan or Harry Potter. And absolutely no one likes a Merlin. A bunch of magical curmudgeons, right? But the gospel story is all about an almighty God who does whatever He wants. It's all about a loving Husband who will stop at nothing to make his name famous and his love known by rescuing his bride.
It’s been pillaged by the emergents and progressives who feel like the gospel isn’t fair. They believe in redistribution of grace. Shouldn’t Hades get a shot at redemption? I mean Voldermort deserves a second chance, right? They try to erase all the darkness and color it in with light. But it ends up looking less like Ecco Homo and more like “Behold the Monkey.” And when Paul says the cross is foolishness...it begins to take on a whole other meaning. I mean do we really need a cross?
It’s also been pillaged by hyper-active fundamentalist who’ve made grace cheap. 1-2-3 repeat after me. You can call a possum a cat but I still wouldn’t invite it in your house. Grace was provided by the blood of God the Son and although it’s free grace it’s not cheap. You can’t cover your sin with that blood and keep on serving Beelzebub.
It’s also been pillaged by the atheists and humanist evolutionists. They claim the story as their own but it’s cheap knock off--they’ve ripped the main Character out of the story. Who wants to watch Iron Man without Iron Man?
Here’s the rub--you can’t claim the moral high ground on issues of justice when you also claim humanistic evolution as your foundation. If it’s all about preserving the human race and survival of the fittest then why not kill, rape, murder, and be racist? Why not dominate, make war, and conquer? If my country is stronger than yours and provides the best chances of survival in case of a zombie apocalypse than I’m pushing “nuke um” every time. Plus when you take God out of the equation there is no justice. You can’t complain about the dark when there’s no light. Only the gospel’s Grand Narrative which finds its culmination in Jesus can handle the darkness crushing the dragon’s head.
So what’s a Christian to do? Should we lock ourselves in our Galilean upper room doubting? Acting like our Hero is really dead? Should we stand silent when the grand narrative is being raped? Or should we boldly reclaim the story that is rightfully ours? Should we shout it from the rooftops? Our Hero is alive and he did crush the dragon--and that makes a difference.
We don’t need to be rude about it. But we should gladly and carefully point out the missing Character, inconsistencies, and imbalance when the Story gets pillaged especially when the World passes off its badly written, wildly inconsistent, and carelessly thought out story as a counterfeit to the Gospel’s Grand Narrative.
The Gospel Story has power. Don't neuter it.