It is very easy to hide behind a good cause in order to avoid dealing with issues that would require one to be loving in one’s actions. For example, fighting for Second Amendment rights is good. But it does not have to be at the expense of leaving assault rifles in the hands of civilians.

As evangelicals, it is easy to do something analogous. It is easy to hide behind our love for God in order to avoid loving our neighbor. For example, we do this so well by holding up “the gospel” as a doctrinal position or statement that boils down to the proclamation of the death and resurrection of Christ apart from any implications that must come with the gospel.  Again, this is evident in how many hide behind being “pro-life” (which is really pro-the-unborn-life-only) as an issue that pleases the Lord without giving practical care and concern for the many children living in poverty, food deserts, zones of gun violence, and very low-performing school districts. (Yes; we must seek to save the lives of the unborn as those made in the image of God.)

It is easy to be theoretical about helping unborn people we never see while ignoring needy people we can see, talk to, give to sacrificially, embrace physically, allow to play with and marry our children, enjoy, hear of their likes and dislikes, and lower ourselves before them, and with whom we can share our power and be patient. You do not have to do this with the unborn; you only have to use words to fight for rights.

Yes, we need to protect the truth of the gospel. But largely, in the West and in this contemporary era, to protect the gospel only involves words. Striving for the righteous actions that should flow from the gospel requires a lowering of self and interaction with people unlike us. You