Does Religious Christian Evangelism Preach The Wrong Gospel – Part 1

What is the gospel message?

What would you say? Before reading further, please take a moment to give it some thought.

Here’s my summary of what I was taught and believed to be the Gospel (AKA Good News):

  • Man is a sinner thus separated and distanced from God
  • Man needs to be saved from his sins
  • Man needs forgiveness for his sins
  • God loves you and sent Jesus to die for your sins and be your Savior
  • You need to ask God for forgiveness of your sins in order to be saved
  • When you repent of your sins and ask God to forgive you, then Jesus will cleanse you of your sins
  • Result – you are reconciled to God and are assured of going to heaven (not hell)
  • Now that you are saved there will be things you should do and will want to do (that show God you love Him and will serve Him)
    1. go to church regularly
    2. pray faithfully
    3. worship (in church and privately)
    4. give tithes and offerings
    5. read the Bible and go to Bible studies
    6. be part of a small group at church (for fellowship and growth)
    7. repent when you sin and get forgiven some more
    8. tell others about Jesus so they can get saved too

Traditional Gospel Focus

The Gospel, traditionally preached, focuses on sinful ‘fallen man’, separation, and distance (from God).

The religious gospel summary says that even though Jesus died for sin, mankind is still sinful – whether you are saved or not. Hmm, looks like an unending disappointing cycle of never quite being right with God. Does that mean Jesus wasn’t enough to deal with our sin problem? Does He need us to help Him out or finish completing something that He started?

The “Fallen Man Gospel” (as I now call it) has been my understanding of the gospel for six decades! Sure I knew that Jesus loved me, but there were a few subtle thoughts over the years that challenged that surety. For example – ‘God will love me more if I…’,  ‘what if I really blow it…’, ‘there must be something I can do for God…’, ‘what can I do to get more of God so that…’

Because the traditional gospel is sin focused it compounds and enhances uncertainty in life and in one’s relationship with God. With us living in such a world of uncertainty, you would think ‘good news’ Christians would be the most certain people around. Not so much.

The Accuser of the Brethren

Since traditional evangelism points out sin in order to get God’s love across, and since Satan loves to point out faults and shortcomings, is it possible that the Accuser Church/religious Christianity is unknowingly in cahoots with the accuser of the brethren? Why I never!? Who do you think you are aligning Christian evangelism with Satan?!

Let’s remember the enemy hates us because we are made in God’s image. He does everything he can to put us down and keep us from knowing who we really are. Sadly, the sin focused gospel message uses a negative emphasis (sin) to get to a positive outcome (God’s love), and yet continues the negative part continues to be part of the ‘walk’.

Anything negative about man is accusatory. God would NEVER be negative or accusatory about mankind, because He knows who we really are. He really likes what He made in His image. Actually, His wonderful complete conclusion of us began before the foundation of the world!  God has never changed His opinion of us, even in spite of sin. We will explore this truth of who we really are in upcoming posts.

It is out of ignorance that those who preach the fallen man evangelistic message are helping the enemy to continue to deceive mankind. By the way, the enemy loves ignorance and takes advantage of it in us! But God does not condemn ignorance. (Pr 24:12  1Tim 1:13)

The Power of Tradition

Obviously those who preach the traditional evangelistic gospel really care about people and want to see them saved. They are simply saying what has been handed down to them, and in turn passing this tradition on. However, this traditional gospel ties in with that traditions stuff that Jesus came against. (Mk 7:1-13)

Status Quo versus God’s Fullness

I never would have seen these things if not for God’s divine set up with certain people, books, and teachings. Then there was searching the scripture to see if this is true, much pondering, many questions, and then the wonderful quickening of the Holy Spirit. It resulted in many a “Oh my goodness!”, and overflowing gratitude. Why I have never heard this before in all my years of church is astounding to me, because the pure Good News is incredible good news! And yet I see why -hence Part One and Two (next post).

I hope you will seriously consider this challenge and exposure of the status quo gospel which falls so short of declaring the fullness we have all received. (Jn 1:16)

Dig In

  • If the gospel you heard ever results in requirements, insecurity of your salvation, feeling  distance from God, resurfacing guilt or fear – then you have not heard the real Good News.
  • Tradition has such a powerful influence on our lives. It is based on assumption that whatever has been passed down ‘is so’. Caution.
  • The fallen man gospel proclaims you are a sinner saved by grace. Do you know that is not even New Covenant?

In Part 2 I will share what I believe are negative consequences of a sin based/ fallen man focused gospel.

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11 responses to “Does Religious Christian Evangelism Preach The Wrong Gospel – Part 1

  1. Hi Nancy Hope all is well with you and the Ecclesia tribe. I LOVE this post. It makes me think of the book I read recently called ” A new kind of Christian” By Brian Mclaren. It is amazing and I think you might like it. The public library has a copy( when I return it which will be soon). Love your work, heart and spirit. Maybe we should do coffee again soon In Christ

    Tanya

    ________________________________

    • Hi Tanya!
      Nice to hear from you! Glad you like the post.
      Coffee sounds great. Maybe you can give me a synopsis of McLaren’s book when we get together.
      Bliss,
      Nancy

  2. margaret foster

    Your right on Nancy, I too have just learned the “truth” of the gospel. Man what a change to know “it is Finished” as far as regards my sin. Sad to know we’ve been mis directed all these years. Keep up the good work!!! Marge

  3. I’m really thankful people opened up the Bible for me and showed me what it said about sin resulting in death. I was offended at first, until I saw Jesus innocently taking my place on the cross; taking my punishment. It was that kindness (magnified by acknowledging my sin) that lead me to repentance. He gave His life for mine, I want to give mine in return to Him. I think as a person who didn’t grow up in the church this was all new to me and there are people out there that do need to be awakened by that message. At first, it was offensive because I was living in opposition to God: I did not believe God was real and I liked living my own way. Anyway, I feel very secure in Christ’s love for me now. I did have some moments where I questioned my salvation but I don’t anymore because I talked to God about it and He showed me (Rom. 10:9-10). It really is about a genuine relationship with God vs. superficial, works-based religion. Your message is really great for those who have grown up with this message all their lives but haven’t started living in that secure relationship.

    • Amanda, thank you for sharing your journey toward awakening to His love for you! Churched or unchurched is not a limit for Him to reveal truth to someone. How great is His love for all.

      There really is security in His unconditional love. It’s wonderful He revealed that security to you through Rom 10:9-10. A security and certainty that will always be there no matter what you do or don’t do.

      Just have to share a few thoughts on the Romans passage. Perhaps you are not aware of some of these words – might enlarge the dynamic of what actually happens because His word is so near each one of us (v.8).

      Verse 9 uses the word ‘confess’, which most Christians believe to basically mean to confess sins (acknowledge our corruptness) and say Jesus is Lord. In the Greek the word is homologéō (from homoú, – together, together with; and légō, – to speak to a conclusion”) means to voice the same conclusion, i.e. agree (“confess”); to profess (confess) because in full agreement; to align with (endorse).

      With that explanation in mind, ‘confess’ means to agree with what God says about us. We think He says we are sinners, but if He took away sin at the cross and called us righteous and justified then what is our confession really to be?! A lot more positive than we thought and were taught.

      The Greek phrase for verse 9 also includes after the ‘confess’ word these words ‘the saying’ (i.e. confess the saying). What is the saying? It is the Greek word ‘rhema” -spoken-word”, commonly used in the NT for the Lord speaking His dynamic, living word in a believer to inbirth faith (“His inwrought persuasion”).

      He awakened you, in your spirit, to His love for you. You came alive to fullness, so to speak. You may have confessed your sins as traditional evangelism expects, but in a deeper level there was His faith in you, His divine persuasion working in you that was bringing a purer confession of your true identity as He sees you – even if you didn’t know it. Yay God!

      Even the word ‘believe’, in the phrase ‘believe in your heart’ (v.9), is a word tied in with faith. The Greek for ‘believe’ is pisteúō (from pístis, “faith,” derived from peíthō, “persuade, be persuaded”). Believe means – (affirm, have confidence); used of persuading oneself (= human believing) and with the sacred significance of being persuaded by the Lord (= faith-believing).

      To realize any kind of awakening to Him is all His initiation and intention. He is the one who persuades us of His sacrificial love and absolute acceptance of us. He truly knows how to awaken each person and move us to confess (to agree with Him) His opinion of us.

      You are right on about Him being a relational God. A loving intimately acquainted with His children kind of Father. Nothing we can do or not do (works) will please Him more than just our ‘being’ I am.

      Thanks again for your comment, Amanda.

  4. Great post, Nancy! We like a lot of the same authors. Have you hear of Thomas Talbott’s book, “The Inescapable Love of God” or watched Eamon McMullan’s you tube videos? I think you would appreciate them as well!

    • Thanks David!

      Isn’t the true Good News a sound in your heart that puts you ‘a whirl’ with joy?! So much richer than what the traditional religious Christian evangelism has preached for centuries. I’m so thankful the Lord set up divine appointments for me to hear the really good news! And more good news – He knows how to do that for everyone! Of course some may resist – but it’s a puzzle to me how long one can resist one’s Maker who is crazy in love with them, and just can’t stop loving them! Maybe that is where ‘love never fails and love endures’ comes in. 🙂

      I have not heard of Thomas Talbott’s book, “The Inescapable Love of God”. So looked it up on Amazon.com and found some great reviews of it. Plan to get a copy, actually through Talbott’s website. Didn’t you mention Eamon before? Sounds familiar. Anyway, found his YouTube page and it seemed like I’ve heard him. Checked out his library of videos and a few titles caught my attention. Will take some time to hear his heart. Thanks for the heads up!

  5. This is what I hear on sermons, preached by well known preachers and I feel like they’re only grazing the surface(which in turns makes me feel arrogant..I mean these men devote their lives to God and getting people saved, so I know they know more than me…they could be completely right, and I could be wrong)–God and Christianity goes wayyyy deeper than that. Its about more than just asking Jesus into your heart, and constantly repenting for sin….its about seeing yourself how God see’s you, and seeing other as God see’s them. Its about loving the world(people, nature, animals..) as God loves it. Its about a journey, walking hand in hand with Him as he helps mold and transform you into the best possible person you can be. Its about moving towards being who God created you to be.This is what He wants for everyone…and He will make it happen. He doesn’t want us to feel scared that he’s gonna cast us(or anyone else) into hell, or to be scared that we’re going to face his wrath for not getting it right(for example, not being Christian enough, Atheist, or any other religion, thus resulting in being left behind in the tribulation, going to hell, etc)..He wants us to cling to Him and be with him…thats all…and it’s just that simple(and beautiful)

    • Wonderful summary!

      It is interesting to note who Jesus said did not know God/the Father – the very religious, well trained Pharisees. In our day preachers who expound on the “Fallen Man Gospel” are doing so out of tradition and ignorance. Many are well-meaning but they actually put God’s children in bondage of fear and guilt. I am so thankful the Holy Spirit is on the move globally bringing the truth of the finished work of Christ (Jn 19:30), the total reconciliation of the world (2Cor 5:19), and revelation of our true identity. Things worth shouting about!

  6. Pingback: Does Religious Christian Evangelism Preach The Wrong Gospel – Part 1 | Praying for the millennials

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