Friday, December 26, 2008


What is the purpose of church? What is the Gospel?

What does it mean to be a Christian? How does one get to Heaven?

In this day and age of relativism, post-modernism and the emerging church movement, there seems to be more 'diversity' in the answers most people give to the above questions. Outside the church, the world views Christianity as just another radical, legalistic, judgemental religion. Inside the church, there are extremes... ultra-fundamentalists who condemn without loving. They isolate themselves instead of insulate themselves. On the other end of the pendulum, you have the emerging church looking, acting and sounding like the world in order to be relevant. Bible thumper -vs- Bible changer.

Who's right? What is the Biblical model for "doing church?" What is the primary role of a Follower of Christ today?


Quite simply, I believe the Gospel is the message of Christ's purpose here on earth (I Cor. 15: 1-4). To seek and to save those who are lost (Luke 19: 1-10). To spread the good news of salvation to the world (Mark 16: 15-16). I think one of the problems in so many churches today is that the focus is more on the EFFECTS of the Gospel rather than on the Gospel itself. The Bible is filled with what it means to be a Christian, how to become one and what we are to do but, the primary theme from Genesis to Revelation is God's glory being revealed through Christ and the redemption of mankind through the Cross.


The Gospel message. The heart of this message is "repent and trust" however, the entire BIBLE should be preached with a focus on the Gospel because THAT is exactly what God has revealed throughout the OT and NT. Everything points to Christ therefore, shouldn't the passion and purpose of the local church be to point to the Gospel in every message they teach?

((Paul Washer... "The True Gospel"))

There seems to be more of an emphasis on drawing people into church rather than teaching the Gospel. More emphasis on programs, marketing, seeker-sensitive, purpose-driven, How to improve your____, topical, feel-good, experience-centered messages rather than THE message that Christ lived & died for.

Quite honestly, I think there is more attention put on DOING GOOD than there is in on teaching what salvation is all about. More focus on compassion than evangelism. More focus on being the hands & feet of Jesus rather than spreading the Gospel message. More focus on teaching people to help the poor, feed the hungry and love the unloved -vs- teaching them about WHY Christ came in the first place.

Very little is said about sin, God's wrath (John 3: 35-36), the depravity of man, hell, repentance and what it really means to trust Christ. Seriously, do most seekers really understand what the popular church-lingo REALLY means?

"Cross the line of faith", "Ask Jesus into your heart", "Accept Jesus into your heart", "Ask Jesus to be your forever friend"... etc, etc.

Where in the Bible does it even say these things? Are churches clearly teaching what it means to be saved? Saved from WHAT? If most people consider themselves to be "good", why do they need to be saved? In the average church today, the typical Sunday message (or 'experience') says nothing about what it takes to become born again. Maybe at the very end (somewhere just before or after the offering), there is a brief reference... "If you don't know where you are on your faith journey, or if you have not crossed the line of faith or asked Jesus into your heart, you can do so by saying this simple prayer..."

That's it??? God sends His Son to die on a Cross for the sins of all mankind and the best we can do is offer a 1 minute infomercial??

And we wonder why the results of so many MEGA-church 'reveal' studies, surveys & polls show that many people who regularly attend church don't even believe or accept the basic tenants of the Christian faith. Because the Preacher (Shepherd) is not teaching the Word (feeding the sheep... John 21: 15-17)!!! They're preaching feel-good messages to entice people to come to church. Bait & Switch. Lure them in with catchy 'relevant' promotions ("How to have a better sex life"), tell them that God has a plan for them and that Jesus loves them. Then what? They say a simple prayer and suddenly they're 'in'?

It seems there MUST be a middle ground in how we do church. I agree that the old, fundamentalist approach may not have been the perfect Biblical model for church however, we now have the opposite extreme taking place. Instead of being consumed with the latest fad or technique for 'doing church', what if churches simply followed the Biblical method for sharing the Gospel.... just preach the Word and let the Holy Spirit do the rest (Romans 10: 14-21).