What separates us from the world? What makes us different?
Christian band? You decide
Clearly there is not much.
The main criteria for this scorn was a false representation of the true Gospel. Paul says of all, including himself “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.” So serious was this call, that Paul repeated once again for us in his next sentence. The Christian church is in this danger, and more than it has been in nearly 100 years. What is interesting about what Paul says about the gospel is that though he may disagree with the manner in which it is preached, he, by no means, allows for any distortion or mishandling of this gospel. Today, we are beginning to rush headlong into the latter.
Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will… The former proclaim Christ out of rivalry… What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice.
Here’s the point: The glory of Christ can be displayed through true content of the gospel being told, even if the person telling it is doing it for wrong motives. But, the glory of Christ cannot be displayed through a false gospel, even if the person is doing it with good motives (if that is even possible)
And this is where the current Christian church is allowing Satan to enter into the fold of God and rip us to shreds. We think to ourselves, “Oh, but he is such a great person and is so nice! How could I ever not want that person to teach me?” And here we fall with our necks placed upon the chopping blocks, beckoning our enemies dearly to chop our heads off. What niceness, I plead, is there in the gospel? The confrontation of an inflexibly holy God with a vile, wicked humanity who would rather crucify the Lord of Glory that to have him in this world for but one more moment? A Savior who says “Hate your father and mother and belongings and come follow me!”? Who says “You must hate your life in this world if you want to be my disciple”? There is not one shred of a ‘nice’ God. We are confronted with a God who is dead-set (literally) on the salvation of sinners from his own wrath and their sin at the cost of his very own Son’s life. This is not a great act of ‘niceness’. This is the most serious act of salvation and rescue the whole cosmos, creation, all of heaven and earth has witnessed. It is so much of a disturbance of the realities of the other creations that even “angels long to look into” these things.
No, we cannot have a weak, paltry, minuscule gospel, that says nothing more than that Jesus is simply a means to get your guilty conscience assuaged and that you can pray to at night so that he can give you all the worldly desires that your heart wants. This is no Christ you pray to. It is simply a god of your imaginations. Too few Christians are willing to draw a line in the sand and confidently, courageously, and boldly say loudly, “No, Christ Crucified is the God whom we worship and adore, and we will not allow the sickening representation that your wicked heart has conjured up to enter into our places of worship and teaching.” We have quickly become churches who are sensitive to the needs of men and neglect the callings of God. Surely Christ was gentle and meek and lowly in heart, but none the less serious in dealing with their sin as when he was hanging upon the cross, shedding his very own blood in their behalf, bearing the weight of all of the Father’s wrath upon himself. It is there on that cross that we see what true gentleness, true meekness, and what a lowly heart looks like.
Yes, we are to tolerate sinners and love our enemies, but within the church of God, we must not, and cannot allow for any false, loose gospel to continue to spread through the Evangelical Church. Either we strive to preach, teach, and proclaim the true gospel of the God who deals with sin and its sickening reality and pours out the inexhaustible riches of his love and grace upon those undeserving sinners, or may God have mercy on our churches and cause the doors to be shut, the musical instruments to break down and the people to leave the churches who have erected for themselves a weak, false notion of the true gospel of God.