Also known as the “feel good” gospel, this gospel promises all the benefits without having to give up anything on our part. Auditoriums designed with ambiance and comfort is the ideal get-away for the typical person on-the-go looking for a weekly God-fix. Church services offering quick soundbites of truth in the form of entertainment are nothing short of a costly production of performing professionals where nameless spectators fill auditoriums to watch the game then leave. There is no call for repentance or daily devotion to Christ, just an invitation to accept what Jesus did on the cross so you can have eternal life. No real follow up, no demands and no big push for discipleship.
Again, I will use the old maxims, “What you win people with is what you’ve won them to.” And, “The gospel you use is the kind of disciple you will have.”
Author, pastor, evangelist, Bill Hull, says it this way, “Since impatience is the besetting sin of America, the consumer gospel replaces the slow and difficult path of authentic spiritual maturity with methods and programs that give fast and easy results.”
The dangers of this gospel are its extreme cultural aspects, hence the name Cultural Christianity. The culture is steeping into the church. There’s a name for that, it’s called “Secularization.” This gospel feeds our self-desires and gives us options to following Christ. It tries to attract people by giving them what they want. After all, who wants to hear a message about giving up the things we love? Jesus and the church are here to simply satisfy all our needs with no strings attached. It offers comfort, hope and assurance without any call to die to self and serve others. Serving in church as well as discipleship is optional and for those who are serious and have the time.
There are myriads of church goers that have never turned from their ways to follow Jesus. They have never learned about growing deep in their relationship with Christ because from the get-go they have had their needs met by the church and have never been challenged to do anything other than show up on Sunday. These are the ones who call themselves “blessed” because they grew up going to church; live in the Bible belt; are good people. They call themselves blessed by God because they found a new job; they bought a new car; they had their nails done! Whenever things are going well, they call it a blessing from God, other than that God is never mentioned or acknowledged. These are those who will drink themselves to oblivion on Saturday night and show up for church on Sunday mornings out of habit. You won’t see any difference in their lives or evidence of Jesus in these people. They can talk the talk but can’t walk the walk. Their attire, speech and behavior are no different than a lost person. But whenever there is a crisis, they’re singing “Jesus take the wheel” in tears. Could these be the people who Jesus warns us about in Matthew 7:21-23, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”
What kind of gospel are you following? What kind of gospel are you sharing? The gospel we preach is the kind of disciple we make.