I wanted to write this before I forget. I was just sorting through the floor on my room (don’t ask), and I found some printed sermons from the Stanford Memorial Church (in Stanford University, my alma mater of two tourist trips). This is a “church” that features three rotating speakers, I think… something like that. Anyways, if I remember correctly, one is Jewish rabbi, one’s a United Church minister, and one’s an Episcopalian (that’s “Anglican”, but in the U.S.) reverend who is a woman (and also a lesbian and a feminist, as she stated in her sermon I read).
Anyways, the point of this blog post is NOT to call anybody a heretic, or denounce specific people. I think there is often times a place for that, but this post is not it. What I DO want to blast, though, is “preaching” that claims to be Christian, but isn’t really. As I was reading from the two sermons, some common themes emerged. Or rather, it became apparent to me that something was always missing.
It was the Gospel.
Basically, the two sermons I read could have been written by a non-Christian, or a person from a different religion, or perhaps by an atheist (if God was taken out of the sermon, but the same principles were being preached). Doesn’t that strike you as a red flag? Secondly, and most important, things were being said that were in OPPOSITION to the Gospel. This is a big deal because the Gospel is a big deal – it is big deal GOOD NEWS. That’s what “Gospel” means: “good news”.
And this is the Good News: that Jesus, Son of God and fully God, came to die and bear the punishment/justice deserved for OUR SIN.
This is good news because we all deserve to be judged, condemned for our moral guilt. And just because you’re a human being, doesn’t mean that God will automatically save you. Rather, by default, everyone is condemned. And apart from faith in Jesus and what He accomplished, you can’t be forgiven. So that’s why JESUS is the good news. Because Christianity is not about accepting a set of moral values. It is not, at it’s core, about believing certain things, even (although that’s part of it). It’s about God grabbing us, and saving us, and that’s why He’s awesome and worthy to be praised. So, really, the Good News centers around God, not me.
Anyways, I’m going to stop now for fear of rambling. Feel free to leave a comment! It’s not fun when people are reading but don’t talk to me!
Oh yeah, and the whole reason I wanted to write this post is because I care a lot about “fighting” these sorts of misleading, destructive ideas that point to things that ultimately won’t satisfy. So it grieves me when I see myself being “taken out of the fight” by my own lack of discipline, my disorganization, and my (recent) lack of motivation and drive. So please pray for me. God is faithful!
Heresy is often fun, which is why we must always be on our guard!
– Paulman (quote from Halifax Project 2007)