I read something today over at Christ The Truth "We don't need better preaching...", concerning the need for a better gospel as opposed to a need for better preaching. I'll admit, that I didn't quite connect with his example (I suppose I just haven't come across that particular type of false gospel) but his point resounded in me none-the-less.
We need a better gospel than the one typically preached.
It seems to me our gospel today is relevant to todays culture, the churches are relevant, the programs are relevant, the teaching is relevant, the mens breakfasts, singles retreats, divorcee ministry, addiction recovery ministry, the Jewish and Davidic dancing classes are... ok, well maybe all of those except the dancing classes but I've been trying to work that into a post for weeks now and I couldn't pass up the opportunity. Seriously, San Antonio churches offer everything.
But our gospel shouldn't be relevant to what we're doing. Our lives should be twisted to be relevant to the gospel, not the gospel to our lives. If it is relevant to our lives, then it seems like all the calls to be peculiar, separate, in but not of, are all for nothing if the gospel of Christ is not peculiar, separate.
His blog post got me to thinking about my own gospel. When I tell someone the good news of Jesus Christ what am I really telling them? It seems like we always start with the lesser benefits of a relationship with Christ; peace, joy, friendship, someone to pray to who hears our cries, a comforter, etc, etc. But that isn't the gospel is it? Oh, sure it IS part of the gospel. But that's like trying to sell a hamburger by offering someone lettuce, mustard and fries. It's lacking the true meat of the business.
But I suppose the problem lies in just that. The meat is the part that people begin to reject. The meat is a harder sell because you have to first tell people that they're dying in their sins and there's only one way out. You have to tell them that Jesus Christ, left His Fathers side and setting aside the glory of Heaven He took upon Himself the form of a baby, man, so that He could physically die for our sins.
You have to tell them that if they don't accept it, they will face eternal separation from God.
I think so often we get caught up in our own relational feelings towards what God is doing right now that when someone asks us about our Savior we instantly turn to conversation about our Friend and Father, rather than being suddenly gripped with the reminder of "He saved me. I was dying, and He saved me."
Perhaps then, if we embraced the gospel message ourselves - allowed that daily reminder of the need for our whole relationship with Christ to begin with - we might find it easier to offer the lifeline to those around us who need saving.
It would change the world.
It already did once.