Tag Archives: Gospel

Authentic Cliché

When I hear the term “authentic” in reference to faith, I die a little on the inside. It’s been reduced to a Christian cliché along with terms like “real” and “relevant”. The truth is that we are trying too hard at branding ourselves as if Jesus is a product to be consumed.

We are all hypocrites. We are all broken. It’s time that we stop trying to look like the world in an attempt to lure goats into church. Watered down gimmicky theology saves no one. It damns them. To preach “love” without preaching repentance is not loving at all. To share a pseudo-gospel where God wants you to have “your best life now” inoculates people from the real Jesus.

It’s time we stop telling half-truths in an attempt to make Jesus palatable and share the whole Gospel which includes Jesus’ command for repentance so that people might be saved. We can be loving and compassionate in sharing the truth, but if we confuse “niceness” with love by ignoring the seriousness of sin because we are scared of hurt feelings, we are complicit in the subsequent damnation of the very people we are trying to save.

http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/has-authenticity-trumped-holiness-2

Catching Up With the Inevitable

CC image courtesy of hans van den berg on Flickr.
CC image courtesy of hans van den berg on Flickr.

A friend from the radio business died today. I always knew him as Danny Fox. It was many years later when I learned of his real name. At 59, years of chain-smoking had crippled him with emphysema, but in spite of his sickness, he always had a joke so we could share a good laugh.

I had only known him at the workplace, at least until about three months ago. He was hospitalized with little hope of leaving. I visited him a couple of times in the hospital because I had to share something before he passed. He claimed he was going to heaven after he died and affirmed he knew about Jesus. He answered my questions hesitantly and I wanted to be sure he knew about salvation.

I stumbled through the whole conversation but I think he understood. I know ultimately the Holy Spirit is tasked with softening hearts and saving souls, but I have my hope.

I’m staggered by the thinking of nonbelievers. I should be accustomed to it by now as heathens will act like heathens, but for someone to say Danny is working at the radio station in the sky is borderline ridiculous. Let me rephrase–IT IS RIDICULOUS.

Another friend’s response was equally as misguided–

Danny was a good guy…a good person…I know you and I don’t see eye to eye on a lot of religious beliefs, but I think if there’s any Godly justice, Danny has a head start on most of us…

Just for the sake of discussion we will call this friend Hieronymus. Why use a common name like George when you can punch up the story with a name like Hieronymus?

As you can see, he thinks you can get to heaven by being “good.” Jesus says that no one is righteous, but by being a swell guy, many believe that they will gain entrance to heaven. Then he wants to hang merit on God’s justice? I told him that God’s justice warrants that everyone spend eternity in hell.

Post modern thoughts such as these are what make people believe that all roads lead to God. Jesus explicitly is exclusive of all other paths in John 14:6.

Hieronymus hasn’t responded since then, but I knew that the report of Danny’s death would bring another opportunity to share the Gospel with him. I could have gotten that information anywhere, but I thought that the finality of death would finally make him seriously consider his salvation.

Nevertheless, I still hope that Danny found the right path. I’ll find out soon enough.

Purpose is NOT the Gospel.

Jesus is not a product.  Many try to sell Christianity as something to make you feel better, or give you peace, or in the case of Joel Osteen (or anyone else who touts the prosperity gospel), to make you rich.  Don’t come to Jesus for stuff.  Come to Jesus for Jesus.

Wretched with Todd Friel

Episode 1356

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Will the Real Noah Please Stand Up?

I read The Matt Walsh Blog this afternoon and I think he had an accurate review of the new ‘Noah’ movie.  I’m not trying to rehash what he said regarding the movie.  By the way, I got the impression that he thought it was drek.  I just heard some arguments in favor of viewing of the movie and I thought it needed to be addressed.

I have heard this argument repackaged many times for other movies, pastors, car salesmen, levitation machines, and pig wrestlers.  Essentially, the argument should not be about whether the movie is biblical or not, or even if it completely misrepresents God.  Or not.  The Christian shouldn’t disparage the movie.  As a matter of fact, he should watch the movie so that he will have opportunities to share the Gospel with people who have seen the movie.

Really?  The Gospel is already a stumbling block for people.  People think that they don’t need saving.  People don’t want to repent of their sins.  I cannot see how a misrepresentation of the Bible can bring people to Christ.  Maybe I’m pessimistic, but if one believes he can use the movie, ‘Noah’ as a launching pad to share the Gospel, he should have even more success sharing the Gospel with people who have seen ‘Pulp Fiction.’  Afterall, Samuel L. Jackson quoted scripture.

In interviews, Russell Crowe reveals that he has no idea what the biblical story of Noah is about.  Noah, the taskmaster?  Is that why God chose to save him?  Genesis 6:9 states, “Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation.  Noah walked with God.  John MacArthur’s commentary explains, “‘righteous’ is to live by God’s righteous standards;  ‘blameless’ sets him apart by a comparison with those of his day; and that he ‘walked with God’ puts him in a class with Enoch (p. 25).  That is a strong assertion comparing Noah with Enoch.  Remember, Enoch never tasted death.  God brought him straight to heaven.

Some people (usually people outside the faith) think righteous means perfect.  Does righteous and blameless mean Noah was perfect?  Does that mean he was a swell guy?  He certainly wasn’t perfect and some of his sins depicted in the Bible suggest he may not have been a swell guy.  MacArthur explains that “God makes it clear the Noah was a man who believed in God as Creator, Sovereign, and the only Savior from sin.”  That is what makes Noah righteous.

Most importantly, the story is a type, or illustration of Jesus.  Jesus said, “I am the door.  If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture” (John 10:9).  There was only one door in the ark.  That one door represents Jesus.  Did Noah shut that door?  No, God alone saves.  God shut that door (Genesis 7:16).

If you want to lead people to Christ, you use the Bible.  The Bible is truth.  It makes no sense to try to lead people with a counterfeit.  If you want to draw from unbiblical sources, good luck.  At least use something moderately entertaining, like Dr. Who.