To my regular, faithful readers, thanks for bearing with me last week as I had to get somethings off my chest. Thanks for your participation, comments and feedback. I really enjoyed the discussion. I’ve been blogging for over 2 and 1/2 years now and have never “called someone out” before, but these gentlemen really disturbed me and I felt I needed to set the record straight: what they are teaching is wrong, false… whatever you want to call it. I chose “impotent”.
Here’s why I went with that word: Friends, to me the true Gospel is not only “good news”, it’s life-changing, transformational and POTENT. Remember “potent” means powerful and mighty. This Gospel that we have the privilege of sharing has power that we can’t truly comprehend. It restores, refreshes, redeems, rescues, releases and recreates us. We are made new IN Christ. A new creation.
This precious, potent Gospel must not be taken lightly. When you stand up to preach in the pulpit, you need to pray and ask for wisdom, discernment, boldness and clarity. Ask that God will truly speak through you – a broken vessel (“jars of clay”).
Here are a few thoughts on how I came to this conclusion: I’ve heard that people that study counterfeit money don’t study the many types of fakes or copies – they study the real thing. They keep looking at a real bill over and over and over, so that when they come across a fake, it will stand out to them because they have become so familiar with the real thing.
I am so blessed to weekly sit under the teaching ministry of Pete Briscoe, one of the most solid Bible teachers in the world. I get fed with such a rich dose of true Gospel teaching that when I come across someone teaching something counter to Scripture, it jumps out at me.
When I see someone like Steve Anderson take shots at NewSpring Church, Perry Noble, Billy Graham and translators/users of other translations than the KJV, I recognize that he is not preaching the true Gospel. He’s wasting his precious time in the pulpit and his congregation leaves spiritually hungry, mis-guided and more confused. That, my friends is a true shame.
When I see someone like Mike Murdock confuse wealth with money, my radar goes up and I know what he’s teaching is contrary to Scripture. When I hear him tell people to go into further debt, when they don’t have the money, by putting $1000 on their credit card to give to his “ministry” – I get a holy anger and I see what he’s doing as beyond a shame – it’s the very essence of false teaching. As my pastor quoted someone yesterday, “God wants us to have wealth. It’s important we don’t settle for money.”
Hear my heart, friends and please mark these words down, quote me, hold me to them – I’ll take them to my grave: I believe that the true Gospel can be preached anytime, anywhere, to anyone, at any point in history and in any situation, to any nation, tribe, tongue, race, economic situation, etc.
My problem with the “money gospel” is that besides being weak and impotent, it can not be preached anywhere. Try standing up in a 3rd world country, looking starving parents who are holding their dying children in their arms, and tell them that “God wants them to be rich” or “God wants you to super-size your meal at McDonald’s” (like I heard one preacher say). Dung!
On the mission field, in real life and in tough situations, what people need is Christ. Last night I worked with a ministry that fed the homeless in downtown Dallas and held a worship service for them. I couldn’t look them in the eye and say that God wants them to “give $58 a month and sow a seed into my ministry and watch God bless them”. No, the only thing I could offer them was Christ – the unconditional love, grace, mercy, forgiveness, redemption and rescue that Christ and only Christ offers. There’s nothing else to preach to them.
This isn’t about being seeker-sensitve or not. This isn’t about being emergent or not. This isn’t about topical versus exegetical. This is about the Gospel and offering Christ to those in desperate need. That’s what this world needs more of.
That’s it, folks. I’m stepping down off my soap box. Tomorrow I will call out one last person in a blog post entitled “Weak”. You don’t want to miss it!
So, what are your thoughts on the Gospel? For those of you that have been on foreign mission trips and/or worked with the poor and homeless, how do you think the money gospel would go over?
Philippians 3:8 (The Message)
7-9The very credentials these people are waving around as something special, I’m tearing up and throwing out with the trash—along with everything else I used to take credit for. And why? Because of Christ. Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant—dog dung. I’ve dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by him. I didn’t want some petty, inferior brand of righteousness that comes from keeping a list of rules when I could get the robust kind that comes from trusting Christ—God’s righteousness.