Evangelical Audacity

Evangelical Christianity is centered on a radical claim: that each individual Christian has a personal relationship with the almighty Creator and Lord of the universe. The very idea is incredible: that even the lowest, most sinful members of the Church have a direct line to the throne-room of the King of Kings. Why would such a holy God have anything to do with such unholy, unimportant sinners? But, staggering as it is, that is the claim we evangelicals make.

If true, this idea has very interesting implications. Consider this: where is the center of such a society? Who is charge? It is no elected official, no pastor, no charismatic personality. All these influences and authorities certainly exist, but they are trumped by direct responsibility to a higher authority. While men must obey human magistrates, those men do so because God has required it, not in response to an independent earthly right. Such a society is a Christ-centered, theocratic society whatever its constitution may be.

This also means that society, though it may have its inequalities (not all of them results of sin), and though it has a great diversity of callings, is not hierarchical. The pyramidal power structure humanity might otherwise create is undermined by a God who speaks to the common man. This is a frightening leveling, a revolutionary equalization. Rich and poor do not matter, nor do ruler and ruled, white and black, or male and female. What matters is each individual’s relationship to Christ.

The claim that every individual must have a personal relationship with Christ not only flies in the face of human pride, it is a threat to earthly power. It is unsettling, removing the reins of rule from human hands to a heavenly Savior. This is a thought that should fill us with fear, certainly, but also provide comfort and a sense of gratitude. We are not in control–but one infinitely more worthy is.