Monday, June 21, 2010

What a Lame Gospel Produces

Over the past week I have heard Christian Smith quoted a few times.  His study on the beliefs of teens in America can be labeled as “moralistic therapeutic deism”.  Dr. Mohler has summed up Smith’s book, Soul Searching , quite well.  You can view that summary here.  This “moralistic therapeutic deism” can be summed up in five points:
  1. "A god exists who created and ordered the world and watches over human life on earth."
  2. "God wants people to be good, nice, and fair to each other, as taught in the Bible and by most world religions."
  3. "The central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about oneself."
  4. "God does not need to be particularly involved in one's life except when God is needed to resolve a problem."
  5. "Good people go to heaven when they die."
These views do not just happen.  These views are cultivated.  Of course we can blame several cultural things like television, movies, music, and more.  But these are just a reflection of the culture at large.  Music does not have a view of God and the gospel—musicians do.  Your television does not display a false gospel—actors and writers do.  And there are a myriad of things influencing actors, writers, musicians, athletes, and all other cultural influencers.
What I have a heart for—and what I think can actually change the world—is the local church and our faithfulness to the proclamation of the gospel.  Our kids (yes, church kids) have a “moralistic therapeutic deism” because they watch their parents display such a belief with their lives and their lips.  A lame gospel inevitably produces rotten fruit. 
I am going a different direction with this. So, if you were looking forward to those 5 posts, I apologize. But I will be considering this idea of moralistic therapeutic deism over the next few weeks. Once I get a little clarity I will create a post that serves as a hub for all of these thoughts. But the point of this post still stands A lame gospel inevitably produces rotten fruit.

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