They Exchange The True Gospel For A Lie

To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.  Isaiah 8:20

I received this yesterday from a friend in California in response to my last post:

“The pure unadulterated sanctified Gospel of Jesus Christ in all its power has been replaced by the ‘social gospel’ of our day in our churches. They have lost sight of where to draw the line between reaching out and helping others… and that of giving them the Gospel message. So much emphasis is placed on the thousands of entities that meet the human materialist needs of the lost….yet so much so that man’s pride says, “I did a wonderful deed so that’s all that counts. I was “Jesus” to  them.”  But then ….as I said to my former pastor:  because, I like others, was hearing the lack of the Gospel but much about serving others – we are no different than goodness-based cults and religions. Many of them LOOK like Christians.  However, the often used phrase taken from St. Francis of Assisi* where the message is to BE… not to necessarily speak the Word of God… I feel has been overstated.

I have no problem giving to a poor street person – whether he is spending it on drugs or whatever, as long as I do it in the name of the Lord.. I will tell him after giving him money, that I also want him/her to know about the ‘food that feeds the soul’. If he uses the money for drugs, it is not my business if I am giving in the name of the Lord; the power of the Gospel message not only saves but is able to free him from his bondages.

How sad that the Gospel has been so tainted by all the ‘ingredients added to it’ by the church. When this happens it dilutes, twists, discounts, and waters down the wonderful powerful message of Christ’s redemptive work on the cross. The Gospel needs nothing else as it stands on its own because of who God is and who His Son is.”

I appreciate what has been said here because it reflects accurately our Christian denominations of today, whether Nazarene or any other group.  Instead of preaching the pure gospel of Jesus Christ, apostate “Christians” at festivals such as Wildgoose spend their time carousing and partying in “community” in their beer and wine tents. They invite anyone to come and share whatever they have, and they downplay doctrinal differences and embrace everything under the sun that is spiritual.  Leaders look the other way in fear of criticizing their fellow colleagues, or perhaps because they approve of it all.  Any kind of spirituality is good for them now, not whether beliefs and doctrine is soundly based on Scripture or not.

The emergent church emphasizes a defective and false gospel, focusing on such things as: community and relationships in place of doctrine, rejecting the fact that there are absolute truths that are found in absolutely clear doctrine as taught through God’s infallible word.  But that is the key problem and what has led to this watering down of the gospel.  These rebellious pseudo-Christians believe they are doing a good thing by embracing the “big-tent” philosophy.  They open up soup kitchens and food pantries, feed and cloth the poor in the neighborhood, and at the same time never present a clear gospel message that those people are headed to hell on a full stomach.  Oh, they may very well say to these people something like “God bless you” as they walk out the door, but that’s about it.  And of course, there are community food pantries whose policy is to not even mention Jesus Christ, or which prevents Christians from witnessing to those to whom they serve food.  Yet they do it the name of Jesus.  How sad, but I guess it makes them feel good to feed someone.

We see General Superintendents of the Church of the Nazarene and presidents of major evangelical and holiness denominations holding hands with social justice advocates, thinking they are doing a wonderfully spiritual act that will please God.  They stand up for the “rights” of illegal aliens, saying it is the Christian thing to do, while at the same time they step on the rights of those who, whether Christian or not, are waiting patiently to come into our country, or who are being deprived of jobs in favor of lawbreakers.  Instead of proclaiming the real gospel, they get tangled up in social and environmental justice pursuits that do nothing to show the sinner what they really need.

We must continue to send out warnings to those who are perverting the gospel and spreading poison in our churches and universities.  But it also needs to go out to those Christians, especially pastors and others in leadership positions, who are standing apathetically by while the church is being corrupted.  Pastors, if you think that all you need to do is protect your little church by insulating your congregation from emergent ideology and never teaching them about what is going on, what will you do then after you leave, and your replacement is a wolf in sheep’s clothing?  You’ll probably see your church end up being a social club that does a lot of community good, but does nothing to feed the people the real food: the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  By then, it may be too late, but you will still have to answer to God.


*Preach the gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words. (attributed to St. Francis of Assisi, this phrase sounds nice, but is contrary to what Scripture teaches)


2 responses to “They Exchange The True Gospel For A Lie

  1. As the post above indicates, the bottom line problem is that the social gospel, as well-intentioned as it may be, is NOT the gospel. At best, it’s loving your neighbor: a right and good thing to do, but that is not the same as declaring that Jesus Christ died and rose again for our sins.

    This runs the risk of false doctrine in two ways. First, it distorts what the gospel is. Again, the gospel is NOT good works. Good works certainly do follow the work of the gospel, but they are not the gospel. As has been mentioned here before, a great many non-Christians do works of charity for others; that alone is not necessarily a remarkable trait of the church. But the gospel is to be found nowhere else.

    Second, there is a VERY dangerous trend of works-righteousness accompanying this thought process. When works are over-exalted, grace becomes minimized, and people start looking to their own personal holiness and good works as the basis for their salvation instead of the finished work of Christ. Remember: holiness apart from grace becomes legalism.

  2. Marriage exists for the Good of the husband, the Good of the wife, and thus the Good of the new family that is created when a man and woman are united as husband and wife.

    Same-sex sexual acts do not serve for the Good of those persons engaging in same-sex sexual acts. Any act, including any sexual act, that does not respect the inherent personal and relational essence of the human person, who, from the moment of creation, has been created in The Image and Likeness of God, equal in Dignity, while being complementary as male and female, is not an act of Love.

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