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Fight culture wars with Gospel, Scroggins urges students
September 13, 2004
By David Roach
Christianity is under attack, and ministers must fight on the front lines of the culture wars, Jimmy Scroggins said at Boyce College convocation Aug. 25.
Preaching from 1 Corinthians 1, the Boyce dean told students that a great cultural divide exists in America between those who uphold biblical standards and those who do not. Ministers must defend the biblical worldview against attacks from those on the other side of the divide, he said.
“If the ministry for you is a religious way of selling insurance, a good career, … a way for you to get the status that you desire, … this school is not for you,” Scroggins said. “We’re here to train warriors because we’re in a war. We understand that. We don’t apologize for that.”
Scroggins noted five ways in which ministers must respond when culture declares war on Christianity.
First, ministers must prepare to be viewed as foolish.
The Gospel is antithetical to the world’s standards, he said. Because of the discrepancy between the Gospel and the standards of the world, non-believers often view passionate Christians as fools, Scroggins said.
“You’re not doing what the world considers to be wise,” he said. “If you think you’re going to live some kind of idyllic life in the ministry … where you get exalted in the world’s eyes and still accomplish the hard work of the Gospel ministry, for most of you that will just not be possible.”
God desires followers who are “willing to be considered foolish by the world in order to preach the wisdom of God,” Scroggins said.
Second, ministers must preach the Gospel.
When Christianity is under attack, ministers have an increased responsibility to preach the Gospel with enthusiasm and with accuracy, Scroggins said.
“Jesus Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures,” he said. “He was buried. He rose again on the third day. He was seen by over 500 people. That’s the Gospel. Preach the Gospel, and if you lose confidence in the preaching of the Gospel, then you’ve lost confidence in God’s method to get it out.”
Third, ministers must trust the power of the Gospel.
The Gospel is a powerful weapon in the culture wars because it is the only means through which the world can experience conviction of sin and come to know God, Scroggins said.
“The world through its wisdom will never come to know God,” he said. “They will never stumble upon it. They will never accidentally figure it out. They cannot do it. … The Gospel saves people. Don’t ever lose confidence in the ability of the Gospel to save.”
The Gospel’s power is also demonstrated in its ability to make people stumble, Scroggins said. Some Christians stumble by believing that God’s sovereignty allows believers to take a lackadaisical toward evangelism, he said.
“Trust in the power of the Gospel should ignite passion for people, not stoicism,” Scroggins said. “And if you’re someone that believes strongly in the sovereignty of God … and that makes you stoic when it comes to the preaching of the Gospel … you don’t understand it at all.”
Fourth, ministers must be Gospel-centered on purpose.
Many churches experience division because believers focus on philosophies other than the Gospel, he said. Ministers must combat such division by ensuring that every ministry in the church is anchored on the Gospel.
“The Gospel is the center of everything that we do,” Scroggins said. “No matter what your major is, you don’t get a free pass on the Gospel. The Gospel is what we’re all about. If you want to learn something other than how the Gospel intersects with your call and your application of ministry, go to another school. This is a Gospel school.”
Fifth, ministers must not seek credit for God’s work.
God frequently uses humans as instruments to accomplish His work, Scroggins said. But ministers must resist the temptation to boast about accomplishments for which God alone deserves credit.
“I want you to be very careful,” he said. “Fight off the temptation to boast in yourself.”
Scroggins concluded, “Anything we do is due to the grace of God, the power of the Gospel. … It’s God’s Gospel. It’s from Him. It’s by Him. It’s through Him. Thank Him that we even get to be a part of His program.”