Tough Articles for the American Church to Consider

After a long week it is good to catch up on a little reading.  Here are a couple tough articles the American Church could do with hearing.

First Steve Camp swings with a strong right to hit the evangelical mark with his article entitled:

Removing the Offense of the Cross
…the ineffectualness of candy coated partial romantic gospel appeals “

Here is one of the many powerful reminders about the person who’s Gospel we live and preach. 

Listen, Jesus Christ isn’t anybody’s “spiritual Pez dispenser”
that we can turn into whomever we choose by repackaging Him in order for Him and His message to relate to our lost world. He is not to be triffled with. He is God incarnate, beloved, and He must be reckoned with in His virgin birth, His sinless life, His gospel of sola fide, His once for all death, His bodily resurrection, His ascension, His reign as King and Mediator at the right hand of the throne of God. He is not asking you to accept Him, fall in love with Him, shower bouquets of flowers at His feet, bring Him candy, or date Him. He is not proposing to you or asking you to marry Him. He is commanding you to repent of your sins; submit to Him as Lord of your life; forsake all other loves and all other claims to eternal life; to come to the end of yourself; believe solely in Him; take up your cross and follow Him. You don’t have the luxury or His permission to turn Him into a passive, effeminate Divine lover who can only beg, but cannot elect.

Next as if that article wasn’t enough to send one into the prayer closet, Jim Elliff drives home the effect of this “Pez Candy” preaching with his article: The New Gospel: Appealing but Not Revealing

It cannot be overstated that the most pressing issue in the American church at present is the prevalence of unregenerate church members within our ranks…

…We have never looked fatter. But our corpulent appearance is like cotton candy: when you melt it down, there is not much to it. Now we find ourselves struggling over the meaning of conversion. But we have not done our homework early enough and the problem is already out of hand. In message and method we have, in fact, often erred. The sowing of bad seed has produced massive crop failure yet unprecedented statistics. It is getting harder to find wheat among the tares.

It is the complicity of the evangelical church in this deception, either through misinformed enthusiasm or love for repute, that is the most disturbing. We have poured over materials on methodology for bringing people in and used our theology books for doorstops. We have entertained more cleverly than ever before and made the outside world feel good again about the idea of church.

When we consider the state of the church in America is it any wonder the nation is in such bad shape?  It really is a simple solution.  If the church would simply preach the gospel.  The Holy Spirit will do the work of convicting and bringing people to God as he sees fit.  It really doesn’t do any good to dumb down the message and provided bowling alleys in the church so people will come to church.  This means people get to bowl and still not hear the gospel of Christ.  They might as well stay at the bowling ally on Friday night, at least there is some theology in the country songs!

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