Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Gospel Core

In the UMC, there is debate within the church on core issues of the gospel such as the reliability of scripture, truth, the nature of God, the Trinity, justification by faith alone, the virgin birth, and the atonement. It is one thing to have to defend these issues to a lost world that contains people who are blatantly hostile towards the idea of God, or who simply choose not to think about such matters. It is quite another matter to have to defend such issues within the church.

This is not a new issue to the modern church, but our response, conditioned by our culture, is. Jude 1:3-4 was referenced to me during a recent conversation that I had.

Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

Jude originally intended to write about salvation. But instead, he turned his attention to those who threaten the gospel. The threat was not from outside the church, but within. In our present day, tolerance is the theme, and some of those that hold on to the gospel attempt do so in a manner as not to offend. At least in this passage of scripture, the untainted truth of the gospel message was more important than thinking about what a wonderful salvation we have.

Today’s present culture of tolerance and acceptance has infiltrated the church. It is contrary to the gospel message. In fact, it does damage to the true gospel message. It is a watered down version of the truth that is less offensive to people. Call it Gospel Lite, or Sin Lite, or Grace Lite. Just don’t call it the full gospel.

2 Comments:

  1. Anonymous said...
    People like you use "the gospel" to trample on the rights of homosexuals. I am a gay christian, but can't attend most churches because it is "against the gospel." That is why there must be tolerance in church. Where else can I worship my creator?
    Brett said...
    I don't think the act of homosexuality is part of the "core" of the gospel. But it is sin.

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