I often wonder what bible people are reading when they preach the reductive gospel, “God is love.” Now before you “all grace” and no judgment Christians stone me for having an opinion, hear me out. Of course God is love. 1 John 4 speaks about the loving nature of God and it firmly states that God is love. The injustice we heap on new Christians and sinners alike is that we relate only half the message of the bible. We set up our smoke and mirrors witnessing agendas and shouting God is love, yet we stop short, some deliberately and some unwittingly, of sharing the whole truth of the gospel. We’ve become a religion of used car salesmen, trying to make the sale without full disclosure of the facts. We have lost faith in the power of the gospel and we go around setting “Salvation Traps” like a bunch of Evangelistic, Pioneer woodsmen. Paul says in Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”
Why have we become afraid? Well the world is a dangerous place for the truth. And there are so many different versions of it, how do make sure the absolute truth finds its way to the top of the heap of relative truths? Why have we shaved the gospel down to some palatable, watered down script we sell every Sunday morning with a catchy jingle, a fancily dressed worship leader and the latest Mac technology? The truth is folks that the gospel is offensive. And when the people we have tricked into coming to church with the promise that God is love find out that He killed his own son as a blood sacrifice, well…let’s just say there is going to be a dirty, smelly fan somewhere if you know what I mean.
I get a lot of criticism for being embarrassingly open about the garbage of my past. But when people look into my life and see that this once barren, old landfill has become a place of hope and life for many, I forget the critics and remember what Jesus said. Go into all the world and preach the gospel. And that gospel that He refers to my friends is one that we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. That we are all in need of a savior. That the wages of that sin we are all steeped in daily is not a long, beautiful eternity, floating on a bed of roses listening to Elevator music. The Wages of Sin is Death. Eternal separation from God. “But God is love; right?” I don’t have a love affair with the macabre and or a need to explore every aspect of God’s darkside. I simply want full disclosure. If you are going to ask someone to commit their lives to something, then for goodness sakes tell them about your bumps and bruises. Tell them exactly why you discovered, you personally were in need of a savior. Ultimately, it comes down to this. I don’t want to be sitting next to someone I brought to church and hear them gasp as I say quietly to myself, “Ooops! Did I forgot to mention that?”
Now we don’t have to go and pull a Westboro Baptist Rant on those we deem unclean. We have to share the truth respectfully, but in the end we have to share it in it’s entirety or we diffuse it’s power by hybridizing it with our emotionally, fuzzy logic. We might as well be reading Green Eggs and Ham to people in an effort to get them to heaven. And for goodness sakes men, be men and stop leaving religious tracts on the urinals. Not only is it extremely unsanitary, it’s cowardly. Live this walk or speak it out. Don’t ascribe to some cowardly version of evangelism, because you are afraid of rejection. What are we, a band of Evangelistic elves waiting for the world to go to sleep so we can slip a scripture into their stocking? Nuff said!
Before you get too angry with me remember, this is a blog people. I’m not writing a new draft of the constitution. That is Washington, D.C.’s daily task. I do want you all to pull your stories out of the cedar chest or that back bedroom. What has God done in your life lately? If when you speak about God, the date of your story has a 19 at the beginning of the year, you need a fresh experience with Jesus, because there is a dying world out there in desperate need of the truth of the gospel. Okay, well I am done. I’ve kicked the sleeping bear and told a bunch of partygoers that a hornet’s nest was in fact a Piñata. I love Jesus people. I love the truth of the gospel. Put down your “water pitchers” and your emotions and communicate the truth of Jesus Christ according to Matthew, Mark, Luke or John and leave (Insert your name here)’s opinion out of it. God bless