A Fundamental vs. Missional Church
Each church, at some point of their existence (if not constantly during their existence), is faced with the decision of what kind of church they will be. The choice to be made is not between a Baptist or Presbyterian Church, or a contemporary or traditional church. The choice will be between missional or fundamental.
Let’s briefly define some terms. Fundamental and missional churches do not disagree on the essentials of the Gospel. Rather, they disagree on how to live the Gospel. The fundamental church says the church should be completely different from the culture around them. They say sinners should come to them.
On the other hand, the missional church engages the culture around them. They seek to share the Gospel through the means the culture uses most (technology, music genre, etc.) The missional church goes to the sinners.
We can learn a lot from both camps. Both of them serve up the Gospel, albeit in drastically different ways. In one sense, the church should be separated from the culture. In another sense, the church should go to the culture with the Gospel.
The Unashamed Life
“For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written ‘the righteous shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:16-17)
What does an unashamed life look like? Is it joining a group to stop the latest social issue? Is it feeding the hungry and giving the homeless a place to stay? Is it living a morally upstanding life? While these are all good things when kept in their proper place, they aren’t the Gospel. An unashamed life can and should do all of these. An unashamed life stands for the truth of the Bible, feeds the hungry, houses the homeless and lives a morally upstanding life. Not because their justification is found in their works, but because they are justified in Christ and the Gospel calls them to such a life.
Why do we live an unashamed life? Paul tells us the Gospel is the “power of God unto salvation”. The Gospel is the way God ordained to save sinners. Not through works, but through grace. And that grace comes through faith (Ephesians 2:6, 8). Later in Romans 10, Paul tells us unless we tell people the Gospel, they won’t know it. It is imperative that we tell people the Gospel of Christ—that he came, lived a perfect life, died a substitutionary death in our place, was buried and rose victorious on the third day.
Paul sums up the unashamed life by saying it is one that lives by faith. He quotes Habakkuk 2:4, saying “the righteous shall live by faith”. Why do we live by faith? Because the righteousness of God is revealed “from faith for faith”. Our faith in Christ will lead others to faith in Christ.
The Gospel doesn’t call us to live a life that denies the Gospel. It calls us to speak it and live it out daily. A faith that is kept secret is no faith at all. Faith is expressed, therefore we live an unashamed life. Whether your church holds fundamental or missional views, or even differs on how to reach the world, let us hold on to the main thing. Without God’s grace, mercy, and kindness in Christ Jesus, we would be dead in our sins. As we live completely for him, let us pray the world sees the Gospel clearly through our lives.
How will your church serve the city with the Gospel? How will you live unashamedly?