How does a Mormon talk show host get hundreds of thousands of Americans, many of them evangelicals, to gather together for a “non-political” revival?
Simple. He preaches the unifying message of morality and opportunity.
Beck estimates that the crowd at the Lincoln Memorial on Saturday reached as many as 600,000 people. This is particularly impressive in light of the way Beck promoted his event with such a spiritual, non-political tone:
On the August 26 edition of his radio show, Beck told his audience,
“You’re going to see the spirit of God unleashed, unlike you have probably ever seen it before, at least at a public function. You are going to see the power of God.”
I think this statement is intriguing as it is uncomfortable.
Further, Beck dropped the $100 revival word. And, as one who makes his living with words, we can be sure that there was no accident when he referred to what we’ll see at the event as an “awakening”.
Doesn’t it seem somewhat odd that Beck, a Mormon, and so many evangelicals could yoke together in this venture so overtly spiritual in nature?
Not so according to this pastor who was featured on CNN:
Despite the pre-rally discussions of Beck’s Mormonism, the rally’s litany of evangelical speakers gave it the Jesus-centeredness of a Billy Graham Crusade. All theological references were clearly evangelical and biblically based.
Christians can agree with Mormons (and others outside the bounds of historic Christianity) because we agree on the Law. We agree on what condemns us. We agree on the 10 Commandments, we agree (for the most part) about morality, and we agree on many family related social issues. The issue here is that these matters of agreement are not what makes Christians distinctly Christian. In other words, these things reveal the problem but they do not reveal the solution.
The solution to the problem of sin is the gospel. The gospel is what Jesus did in history for sinners (1 Cor. 15.3-5). He did this for us, that is, in our place. It was Jesus who lived a perfect life of obedience to his Father. It was Jesus who suffered a wrath-satisfying, sin atoning death on the cross. It was Jesus that rose from the dead. Jesus obeyed the Law and satisfied the Law’s penalty by dying for us. Therefore, it is Jesus who is to be our unifying identity and message.
Americans will find great unity in morals but they will not find great unity in Jesus. There is great unity in law but not in gospel.
The Apostle Paul warned about this:
(2Co 6.14-15) 14 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15 What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever?
Therefore, it is sinful for Christians to hold hands (literally) with people who believe a different gospel in the context of a spiritual endeavor.
The rally/revival may have been intended to showcase unity, resolve, and passion for more of God in our country but sadly it serves to be an indictment of evangelical disunity, ignorance and indifference with the gospel. So, instead of more of God it is more of us and less of Jesus.
Many American Evangelicals were outraged over the plans for a mosque to be built near the site of Ground Zero in New York City. However, we are not so outraged about building a tower of morality on the sacred site of the church. This rallying pole of morals, God and country is a lot like the old city’s motto to reach the heavens with our hands and building (Gen 11.4). In so doing this new construction of a monument to ‘Moralanity’ is obscuring the cross, which is the gospel monument to Christ, and his Christianity.
God calls the church to be a faithful bride to Jesus, his Son. Sadly, evangelicals are taking page out of the old Mormon playbook and practicing polygamy. American evangelicals need to repent and return to their first love. This running around with other lovers is unbecoming, embarrassing, and nauseating (Rev. 3.16)