Keeping the main thing the main thing

San Gabriel Mission

San Gabriel Mission,. where Barry prayed when he was 10.

The Jesus Movement was purely and simply an evangelistic gathering in of souls into the kingdom of God. It was all about the gospel. It was all about getting saved and being baptized. It’s hard to imagine a Christianity today without issues, but if you can, you would understand the Jesus Movement. No one was talking about anything but the gospel. The Jesus Movement was truly all about Jesus.

But it didn’t stay that way. It didn’t take long for the people who once rallied around the Jesus Movement, its music and message, to become members and leaders of a church that has gained cultural significance more as a moral and political force in society than a representation of the gospel. This new church has an issue-oriented message that has overshadowed the gospel message that once rallied people around Christ.

How do we bring that singular message of the gospel forward when the current environment surrounding Christians in the world today is so politically volatile? This is how. We leave the issues out of it, and we talk mostly about Jesus and what He did for us on the cross. We can enter into the discussion of cultural issues if we care about them, but we keep it an open discussion, realizing that there is no “Christian” position on any subject other than the gospel. Christians are all over the map politically. We must respect that. We may have our own opinion on these things, and that is fine, but we must refrain from stating that our opinion is the right one, or the “Christian” one. Got to keep the main thing the main thing.

We can talk all we want about any of these issues, but ultimately none of it will bring anyone salvation from their sins. So that bringing the gospel forward from the Jesus Movement is just that, bringing forward the gospel — nothing else. Paul claimed in 1 Corinthians 2:2, “For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.” And if you read his letters in the New Testament, his words bear this out.

We need to disengage the gospel from these issues that have been incorrectly labeled as “Christian” and get back to the pure, simple statement of the gospel and a relationship with God.

As Barry McGuire shared in our interview with him last Friday (see below). When he was 10 years old, he wandered into an empty church and went down front, knelt at the altar and prayed, “Lord, I just want to be a good boy.” He forgot about that moment until God brought it back to his mind over 10 years later, and the Lord told him, “Barry, I’ve had my hand on you ever since. I heard you. That was the prayer of a boy with a pure heart.”

Here I thought I was interviewing Barry, but he came up with the best question of the interview. “What was God doing before the Jesus Movement?” Answer: He was calling us — drawing us to Him. Getting us ready. He’s doing the same thing today. Are you ready?

NEW!      NEW!      NEW!

Our Director of Discipleship, John Shirk, has published a new book — a sermon in poetry. It’s doing real well on Amazon. Click here to link to where you can buy the book. And if you like it, go back and write a review.

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3 Responses to Keeping the main thing the main thing

  1. Lee says:

    Sorry, but I can’t get the passcode to the Barry McGuire interview to work. Is is just me?

  2. Mark D Seguin says:

    Dear Pastor John Today’s Catch & talking about what happened to Barry when he was 10yrs quickly reminded what happen to me back when I was a very young boy appox. around that same age. I watched the Movie “The Ten Commandments” with my Father & clearly remember the part where the “Moses” was cast out to the desert and my father said something like why would he do that – he had all of the riches in the World?

    I remember him looking a bit dumbfounded @ me when I replied something like all of the riches in the World mean NOTHING besides obeying God!

    I’ve thought about that night while going to bed how I cried myself to sleep with the honest, heart-felt desire to know God, since becoming a born-again believer follower of Jesus maybe jus maybe it helps to explain why God allowed me to have a very serious car accident back in ’84 which put me into a coma for 3 months & when I “woke up” from it one of my older brother’s & his wife and my younger sister, her husband and eventually (even my Dad told me) b/c they seen the love & support given to me & all of my family, by these two special Church’s in my life, so they decided to start going to the Church I had accepted Jesus in my heart…

    PS that and plus I’ve thought many times too, God is trying to teach me some times I need to learn how to get out of God’s way & let Him work, LOL Amen!

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