Friday, November 06, 2009

Broad Path Evangelicalism

There is a soft-hearted variety of "Evangelicalism" out there that doesn't want to make anyone unhappy. There's also a hard-hearted variety that takes pleasure in making others unhappy, but that group is much smaller. This soft-hearted variety always likes to think the best of other people and doesn't want to make anyone upset or nay-say them. They feel it is uncharitable to tell someone, "You say you're a Christian, but you are not."

This is what I call "broad path Evangelicalism." It welcomes everyone to come along for the ride. "Oh, so you deny that Jehovah of the Old Testament is the same God as Jesus? No problem," they say, "You're wrong, but you're still my Christian brother."

And folks will do this with all manner of damnable heresy. If Muslims starts calling themselves "Christians," these folks will say, "well, we don't agree with your theology, but we're glad that you agree that Jesus was a great prophet."

This is not true love. True love is warning the lost that they are lost. Of course, some broad path evangelicals have no idea who is saved and who is lost - they have no idea what the gospel is: some because they have not been well taught by their elders, and others because they have drunk too deeply from the well of post-modernism.

And the saddest thing is this: there are many broad path evangelicals who have so little idea of what the gospel is, that they are lost themselves. After all, the gospel isn't church attendance, or affiliation with a "Protestant" congregation or denomination. The gospel isn't trying to live a basically decent life. The gospel isn't reciting the Nicene Creed.

What is the gospel? It is prefaced by recognizing that you are a sinner, that sin is loathsome and detestable in God's sight, and that you as a sinner are under the wrath of God. It is confession of your sin to God, repentance from your sin, and trust in Christ (to the exclusion of others including yourself) for the forgiveness of your sin and reconciliation with God. It is casting yourself on God's mercy, it is making him and him alone your Rock.

That means that the path to everlasting life is a lot narrower than you might think. Those who deny Christ are not saved. Those who trust in Mary now and at the hour of their death are trusting the wrong person. It's not loving for us to suggest that folks can go on praying to Mary and expect God's favor on the last day. It's not kind to tell people that they should be fine because they go to church every Sunday. A watchman who refuses to warn the city of the danger that is coming is not a loving watchman, he's a traitor to the city. So to is the god-fearing man who refuses to tell the lost to turn from their way.


Sir Brass said...


I liked that part about "What is the gospel?"

It is hard, though. Not to understand, but to always accept, especially when I choose to do a sinful thing that I know is sinful and offensive to God, or even DESIRING it at times in my flesh. I ask myself, "How can I say I am saved when I even desire this sin at times?" Yet, I yearn for salvation to the point that if God says it, I say "Amen" to it. Yet it is so difficult to obey, even in belief and full contrite repentance.

Thank God that in His Word, I see such a man as myself: "Lord, I believe! Help my unbelief." And in another place, "Lord be merciful to me, a sinner."

This I do believe: Christ alone is the only savior, no others who claim the office suffice (if they even exist). It's all Christ or nothing at all.

Anonymous said...

I so agree. And as I have told many. You can not tell the good news without the bad first. Then the good news is more precious and Good,and Amazing.