Machen On The Importance Of “In Order To”

Christianity will indeed accomplish many useful things in this world, but if it is accepted in order to accomplish those useful things it is not Christianity. Christianity will combat Bolshevism; but if it is accepted in order to combat Bolshevism, it is not Christianity: Christianity will produce a unified nation, in a slow but satisfactory way; but if it is accepted in order to produce a unified nation, it is not Christianity: Christianity will produce a healthy community; but if it is accepted in order to produce a healthy community, it is not Christianity: Christianity will promote international peace; but if it is accepted in order to promote international peace, it is not Christianity. Our Lord said: “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” But if you seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness in order that all those other things may be added unto you, you will miss both those other things and the Kingdom of God as well.

J. Gresham Machen | Christianity and Liberalism, (New York: MacMillan, 1923), 152.


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2 comments

  1. When Christianity is used as the means to an end, it becomes a covenant of works, such as medieval Christianity or Theonomy, where it was used as an incentive to obey earthly rulers, and observe the law for heavenly rewards. In this way, Christ becomes the law giver rather than the Saviour. That misses the point. The reason true Christians obey is not for future rewards, but because of love and gratitude to God who has already secured heavenly rewards for them in what Christ has done.

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