Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Ughhh, That’s NOT the Gospel!

I am so unbelievably sick of Christian radio; at least its expression in our area.  I am so unbelievably tired of living with Christianese that makes moralism a replacement for the gospel.  I am really tired of our church culture being more like the superstitious heresy of Colossae than the biblical gospel. 

I was driving to the gas station to get a soda and mistakenly left the radio on Christian radio.  The radio announcers were talking about hope.   I have to confess I caught the tail end of everything they were saying, but the mantra sounded the same as it usually does: “Get into God and he’ll fix your life”.  You know that this isn’t the gospel don’t you?  You do realize that the gospel is not about God fixing your marriage, don’t you?  You do realize that the gospel is not about God restoring your finances, don’t you?  Will God fix your marriage—probably.  Will God restore your finances—maybe.  But neither of those is the gospel. 

There is always a danger of making the gospel out to be something that does not touch your every day life.  A good portion of Christians live as if the gospel has no effect upon every square inch of their life.  That is sad.  But it is equally dangerous to present the gospel as the effects of the gospel. 

You know what…you may love Jesus, seek to follow him in all things, be obedient to him for all the days of your life and your marriage be in shambles.  You may be faithful at tithing, a sacrificial giver, love Jesus deeply and be broke living from home to home without a place to lay your head at night (for an example of this see Jesus).

Let me say this loud and clear: THE GOSPEL IS NOT ABOUT FIXING YOUR LIFE!  The gospel might fix your life.  John Piper is absolutely correct, the greatest gift of the Gospel is God Himself.  Anything else is an overflow of that.  

I wonder do we believe the gospel enough to be like Job.  Job was a righteous man.  Job would have been qualified to be a special guest on Focus on the Family.  Job was living the “Christian life”.  But Job lost everything.  What was his response?  Give more money to the 700 Club?  Check his disciplines and try to figure out where he screwed up to cause God to do this?  Here is Job’s gospel-driven response, “Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped.”  AND WORSHIPED!!!   

I beg you PLEASE stop making the gospel into something that it’s not!!!  Jesus did not come to make you a successful American. 

Feel free to disagree…

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