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Why Don’t We Howl at the Moon?

I am so thankful to be part of the Evangelical Free Church of America or the EFCA. Twenty-four years ago, I made a conscious choice to come to Hope Church where we “major on majors.” What do I mean by that? Hope Church holds to the foundational doctrines of the faith but allows for varying opinions on other non-critical issues. Part of the reason I came to Hope was my former church and denomination spent a lot of time talking about what they were AGAINST, but I wanted to talk about what we are FOR.

Some people wonder why we don’t cry out/howl at the moon against many of the social issues within our culture like: political issues, sexual identity, abortion, homosexuality, etc. Why don’t we address specific behavior from the stage more? Why don’t we share our position on various political and social issues? Don’t we care? Yes we care. Do we think these things don’t matter? Yes, they matter. Are we soft in our doctrine? No, we are not soft in our doctrine. Yes, we care. And yes we believe that what is happening in our culture matters. Absolutely. However, we don’t think that talking about these things from the stage on a Sunday is the best thing to do. Why is that? Because at Hope, we are far more interested in where a person’s heart is with Jesus. If they are on the “right” side of every social or political issue we face but don’t know Jesus, they are lost, and it’s game over for them! We are an outward-focused church. Our goal is to reach people who are not here yet, with the Gospel. We are not here to preach to the choir about what we are against. We are here to share the Good News of the Gospel with people who don’t yet know Jesus and to inspire you to do the same.Do you get this? I wanted to explain our philosophy and approach to you even though you may not agree. The Elder Board, the Staff, and I all have deep convictions on most political, social and cultural topics. But we are all united on the fact that without Jesus people are headed to an eternity without Him. The Pastors and I will teach on all of these social topics when they present themselves in the Scriptures. We will not shy away from the Scripture. Another of the EFCA’s statements is “Where is it Written?” meaning, what does the Scripture say about this topic or issue?

We have chosen to not allow secondary social and political issues to keep people from first hearing the Gospel. We want as many people as possible to hear the Good News, believe in Jesus, and find eternal life in His name. We hope and pray that is happening every Sunday morning. Then after they know Jesus, He can help them wrestle with all of the secondary issues. I wanted you to know my heart and understand our approach to unleashing the Gospel to our lost community. We are all about helping people come into a relationship with the ONLY Savior of the world. Though these secondary issues are important, they can’t save anyone. Thanks for reading this blog and hopefully allowing us the grace to operate the way we believe God is directing us.

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