In Scot McKnight's book, Embracing Grace: A Gospel for All of Us, we run into a five-foot gospel by the name of Araminta, who later changed her name to Harriet Tubman. She was what Paul was talking about in the work of Christ breaking down the immoveable, impenetrable walls, put in place by sin. Walls that make it acceptable to downgrade another race to slave status. Walls that not only divide, but enforce and fortify that division.
I found this chapter very inspiring, and very much needed in much of what I see of our evangelical world today. This may seem unfair. But we as a group often seem rather oblivious to the systemic evil all around us and in the world. But this gospel and God's grace in and through it, will not allow us to live there.
What if Harriet Tubman- the "Moses" of "the Underground Railroad had had a gospel like so many of us have? I know this is hard. But I'm making a point. I'm speaking here of an individualistic gospel. That's all about me, my needs. My sin and forgiveness and reconciliation. What if Harriet Tubman believed and knew only that "gospel"?
But the experience of the slaves with Harriet, would not allow them to embrace a gospel that divides people so that some can be beaten and have their children sold as property to others. Harriet learned through her people that such is not the gospel, and she learned to say, "No!", and do something about this systemic evil through her mother's example.
Does our gospel have anything to do with the genocide in Darfur? The grieving Palestinian or Israeli mother? The bereft of Iraq? The poor among us? Or is it just about getting people's "souls" saved? The things in this world mattering not at all!
Well, if the latter is the case, then you don't have the gospel that Jesus brought. The gospel of the Bible. It is a gospel that has good news of a kingdom from God in Jesus, that begins now. And it's a gospel that cannot be silent and inactive when there is systemic evil and injustice in the world and in our neighborhood.
Read Jesus in the gospels. Read Acts and Paul, for example in Colossians. And the entire New Testament. And the rest of the Bible. This gospel is evident, and really "in your face" throughout. And be satisfied with nothing less.
Why is this gospel often missed by us, especially we evangelicals? How does this fit with "the Jesus Creed"?