Wednesday, November 29, 2006

It's is all about me... Isn't it?

Most in the church today think that the gospel is all about them. Sure, they may not say it in so many words, but they really do believe it. This can be borne out by how they live and what they do.

The fact is that the gospel is about what happened within historical time 2000 years ago. It is redemptive history worked out in the life and death of Christ. To many, the gospel is man's response to the gospel or God's regenerative work in the believer today.

Whenever the apostles are preaching the gospel in the book of Acts, they are preaching about historical events. They never make our responses to the gospel, the gospel itself! To the apostles, the gospel is always what transpired in history, in measured time, in the verifiable acts here on earth two millenia ago.

The problem with making the gospel anything but the historical events of the Christ, is to remove the validity of the gospel. The gospel has no meaning outside of its objective historical setting. Without the historical events the gospel does not exist!

However, many treat their own experiences with the gospel as the gospel itself, and preach that as the "gospel." This way they rob the gospel of its objective nature, making it equal to just another self-help program. By preaching their own experiences as the gospel, there simply remains no reason for anyone to follow this "gospel" since which person's "gospel" will they follow?

The fact is that many people change after converting to some or other religion. If a changed person is the evidence of the religion, then we have a problem. How will we gauge which religion to follow? Do we test the change in each person to see who changed the most?

No, if we have to test religions by their subjective experiences, then which experiences should we test by? This will reduce the gospel to a case of pragmatism.

The fact is that we need to test by objective criteria. Criteria that can be verified. Experiences are unverifiable since we have no way of testing the internalization of anything!

The real gospel is historical, fully documented and can be tested. That is why our experiences should never be treated as the gospel, but rather the life and events of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Our lives can only speak of the work of the gospel in us, not of the gospel itself in its completeness.


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