The Irony of the Gospel

Christianity is filled with “Little Engines.”  They think they can.  I am not sorry to tell them it is futile.  You can’t.  You can grunt and groan out “I think I can.  I think I can.” a thousand times and you will NOT “get to the top of the hill.”  You need help.  You need a real engine to get you to the top.

There is something about the Gospel most of us don’t like.  There is the American dream that anyone can make it if only they will work hard enough.  It’s one of the reasons we don’t overtax the rich because we think someday we will be one of them and we don’t want to have shot ourselves in the foot.  Americans work more hours per week than people in any other western country.  We take fewer weeks of vacation.  We work.  Then we go to church or pick up our Bibles and read, “The wages of sin is death.  But the gift of God is eternal life.”   Inwardly we pray, “Lord, at least let me help a little bit.”

Do you remember the old Starfish Tuna commercials?  Poor Charlie was never good enough no matter how much he wanted to be caught.

The Gospel is anti-American.  And yet somehow it isn’t.  There is an internal oxymoron built into the Gospel.  The gift of eternal life is free.  But what follows is a commitment calling for all our strength, all of our love, all of our being.  Jesus said, “Take up your cross and follow me.”  The obligation of love is a serious thing and is not to be taken lightly.  The message of salvation is free but the quest for righteousness which is also a gift requires a yoke with Jesus experience.


Written by Roger Bothwell on December 4, 2014

Spring of Life, PO Box 124, St. Helena, Ca 94574