Thursday, April 5, 2012

Wretched's Response to "Monumental"

Posted by Christine Pack

On March 8, 2012, we posted an article entitled "Concerns About Kirk Cameron's Movie 'Monumental,'" in which we pointed out that Kirk Cameron's latest movie project does not proclaim the gospel but instead seems to advance a Reconstructionist/Dominionist view. We also remarked that Cameron's friend and colleague Todd Friel of Wretched Radio/TV would most certainly be expected to weigh in on this topic, as Cameron and Friel have both been strongly associated with the gospel message of Jesus Christ and him crucified for the forgiveness of sins.

Todd Friel has done just that today, by publishing on Wretched's facebook page the following note:

Our Little Growing Pain has done it again. Kirk Cameron has made another great movie that the secularists will hate. But he has also made a movie that may determine the direction of evangelical Christianity for years to come.

While some will argue its historical perspective, Monumental reminds us that Puritans risked life and limb to come to a land where they could practice their Protestant faith without being persecuted by the state or the Roman Catholic Church (frequently the same thing). This is a history lesson worth learning and Kirk is an excellent teacher.

Unfortunately, some will use Cameron’s film to proclaim, “See! We need to get America back to her former moral greatness. We need to RECLAIM America!”

While I am in favor of Christianity informing the decisions of our lawmakers, the theology behind the evangelical movement to “Reclaim America” is un-Biblical and detrimental to the Christian Gospel.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is simple: Jesus came into the world to save sinners (I Tim.1:15). Jesus did not die on a cross to redeem society, government, institutions or nations. Don’t get me wrong, when the Gospel is proclaimed and souls get saved, nations do change. But the Gospel should not be used to save society! The Gospel should be preached to save sinners and the result MAY be a changed nation.

The Gospel is not; Jesus saves sinners AND… 
- obliterates abortion
- rids society of pornography
- saves marriages
- abolishes the sex trade 
The Gospel may have those results, but those results are not the Gospel. This is not theological hairsplitting. The moment we add an additional agenda to the Gospel (as noble as that cause may be), there will be at least two disastrous results: 
1. Un-Biblical Ecumenism. When our goal is the Gospel AND a cause, we will be tempted to partner with “co-belligerents” in spiritual undertakings to accomplish that cause. The result of that ecumenism is confusion to the undiscerning observer. When we stand together with a Mormon or Roman Catholic or a Jew to accomplish our “AND,” the world interprets our hand-holding as an endorsement of one another. Especially in our postmodern world, evangelicals and Mormons/Catholics together confirms their belief that all religions are basically the same. 
2. Resentment.  Christians can and should be prophetic voices decrying the ills of society, but when we fail to preach the Gospel at the same time, then we are simply acting like Pharisees or Muslims who impose their values on society. We are the Gospel people, but much of the Reclaim America movement has historically focused on abortion and homosexuality without the Gospel and the result has been forty years of anger from the liberal left. The Gospel is a stumbling block all by itself, we don’t need people to hate us for the wrong reasons. 
Do I want to see a better future for my children? Of course I do, but that is not my job. My assignment is to obey the Great Commandment and leave the societal results to God. Our job is not to be salt and light, we ARE salt and light. Our focus is the local church, not Washington DC.

The pendulum seems to be swinging. The Reclaim America Tree which was planted in the late 1970’s has had decades to bear fruit in our country. Kirk Cameron’s assessment of society is correct, much of the fruit is rotten, but I believe that our moralistic efforts to reclaim our country are responsible for some of that fruit. 
While none of us like the decline we see in our nation, the fruit is not the problem. The tree is the problem. We can polish rotten apples all we want, but all we are doing is cleaning the outside of a wormy apple. Efforts to Reclaim America do not lay the axe to the root of the problem, only the Gospel does that.

While I truly love my Reclaim America brothers and sisters, it is my hope that they will reconsider their priorities. If we combine anything with the Gospel, we may win a cause, but the Gospel will lose every time. 
Permit me to share this monumental thought: it is better for the whole nation to go down the tubes than for the Gospel to be compromised. Let’s let God handle the state of our union, but let us focus on our families, our churches and the lost.
 Additional Resources 

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