A false choice is being sold to us. Or fed to us. Or whatever they are doing to us.
I’ve been hearing phrases like “the story of Jesus” and “the life of Jesus” and “the story of God” for a while now. They are used to describe the preaching of the gospel.
But not the kind of preaching you might think.
These phrases often used to describe a very selective Jesus. A very selective gospel based on a limited focus of who Jesus is and what He taught.
Such a gospel only gives the promise of hope. But it lacks the foundation and fullness to satisfy the soul seeking to know Christ.
When speaking of “the story” of Jesus or “the life” of Jesus, there tends to be this laser focus on only certain aspects of the Lord’s teaching. Such as the Sermon on the Mount, the kind acts of the Lord, or the parable of the Good Samaritan. Stuff like that.
While, at the same time, other aspects of the Lord are neglected or skewed. Especially those aspects that relate to the doctrine or the absolute truths of the scriptures.
These absolutes are generally put in second place by Evangelical pastors and leaders. At the very best, they are put in second place. And in some churches, they are in last place; if in any place at all.
For example, we are often told that we must only focus on Jesus. Just preach Jesus. Just bring people to Jesus.
This comes up when one might bring up issues in the church such as Creation. And a literal, straight-forward reading of Genesis. Or a host of other topics that preachers are increasingly steering clear of these days. Such as the sin of homosexuality or the sin of abortion.
They tell us that we don’t need to teach people theology or doctrine or all that other stuff that just tends to “push people away” or “confuse people”. You know, all those pesky details that are just “distracting”.
And that all we need is to bring them to Jesus. And to avoid all the other stuff.
Well, this is a problem.
The Whole Counsel of Christ
There is no separation existing between the spiritual truths that the Lord spoke in the gospels and the truths that He spoke through the writers of Acts, Romans, and all the other books of the New and Old Testaments.
He is the Author of all of those truths.
They are all critical. In fact, every single word He spoke is critical.
If we neglect to take that fact seriously, we do so at our own peril.
The Doctrines and the Story of Christ are inseparable. They are fused together for all eternity. And neither one is greater than the other.
Nor is there any way to truly understand the gospel unless we teach and aggressively defend all the precepts and doctrines that Jesus Christ taught.
So then, why are we continually hearing sermons that push this idea? Why are preachers and teachers refusing to teach the whole counsel of God?
Spiritual Liberalism is Corrupting Evangelicalism
The answer is not a simple one.
Because so many Christian leaders are engaging in this kind of rhetoric, it’s difficult to identify the source. Or at least the real motivation driving each of those who preach this way.
However, one obvious source is the Modernism and Liberalism of mainstream Protestantism; as well as the other false religious systems who have chosen to minimize the clear teachings of scripture. While focusing on religious experiences, traditions, and those things where they all have common ground.
In place of the great doctrines of Christ, they have attempted to substitute a generalized kind of Christian gospel that demands very little in the way of belief.
While, at the same time, doubling down on the requirement for true Christians to prove their faith by their good works.
Another Gospel of Good Works
This is the way of the Emerging church. It is also the way of the Progressive church. And it is the way of mainstream Evangelicalism that longs to be in fellowship with the apostate religious leaders of the National Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches.
Choosing warm, respectful friendships, finding agreements instead of disagreements, and choosing to infiltrate and associate with error. Instead of standing firm with Christ on what He has taught us.
It’s a fellowship which absolutely could never exist if doctrine were taken seriously. If more than just a generalized story were faithfully preached.
And, therefore, the deep truths are taught less and less. Because fellowship is more important in Evangelicalism today than truth.
We are told that one needs to only come to Jesus and not to a system. To only come to Christ and not to a religion. To come to a Person and not to some dogmatic theology.
But, aren’t each of us known by the things that we profess to believe?
Anyone can do good works. Every religion of the world teaches good works to some extent. But those works cannot save a man.
The outward fruits are not unimportant; but they are not what saves us. They are simply evidence of the indwelling Holy Spirit within the believer. And will vary depending on a person’s individual walk with the Lord. As the Lord moves a believer to do His will in His time and in His specific way.
Both our outward works and our vocal expression of what we believe are necessary in order for people to correctly understand who we are.
So that they also can know for certain what is necessary to believe about the Jesus of the scriptures.
To Be Continued . . .
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