by Burk Parsons
Before we get to the primary reason for our letter, we want to begin by commending you for the most excellent job you’ve done in your well orchestrated effort to convince your patient to keep his faith an entirely private matter, all the while thinking he’s doing a nobly sufficient job of showing forth his faith by displaying that old, faded Christian bumper sticker on his car.
What’s more, you’ve gone beyond the call of duty as you’ve managed to persuade him to keep his faith segmented to one realm of his life rather than allowing it to naturally shape every area of life. This our arch-enemy commanded His brainwashed followers when He delivered that ghastly Sermon on the Mount, which sermon could still prove to be devastating to our cause if we’re not careful to continue to draw our patients’ attentions elsewhere, particularly to those less clear passages in their increasingly dusty Bibles over which they seem to love to quibble. Brilliant work, our devious son.
Now to the chief reason for our letter, which has everything to do with what we’ve just mentioned. For all these matters are intertwined as they relate to our post-fall campaign to subvert the gospel by striving to deceive Christians to keep the gospel relegated to one area of their lives, particularly to that past moment when they first trusted the homeless, murdered Nazarene. Our success in this area will mean victory in every other detail of their lives. For we, indeed, are in the details.
If we are to overcome them, we must convince them that they can overcome anything in their own strength, apart from the gospel that is lived out in daily repentance and faith. Their independence from the gospel is our independence. Thus, it’s our daily aim to get them to believe, or at least to act as if the gospel is exclusively for other people who still need to be saved and that the gospel’s only legitimate use is in evangelism. Our faithfulness in this effort will prove successful as we strive to get Christians to give up on living by faith and begin to strive to live by good works for the express purpose of obtaining the enemy’s earned blessings and merited grace, so they think, and so they will live as they keep running on an endless performance treadmill. Having had some initial success among the Galatians, and continued success in Rome, we know that when we’re victorious in relegating the gospel, we are victorious — or so it seems for now.