Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A Churchless Gospel-E. Coon

Trevin Wax’s description of the churchless gospel is clear in this message. The speaker declares that God starts deep within each one of us; that Jesus is saving me, saving me from the imperfections of this world. He then states that after we are saved, we are to rally together to fix the afflictions of the world, because God loves us too much to let the world stay that way.
            Wax points out that too often we leave the gospel as something “for me.” Instead of continuing on from “for me,” we stop there and leave out “for us [the church]” and “for God” (161). This is precisely what is presented in this message. The speaker asserts that it starts with us, but does not mention much past that.
            This is attractive to many because instead of investing in and opening up with others, we can move at our own pace and “control our spirituality.” This way, we do not have to submit to those in authority in the church and we think that we will be able to grow the same amount or even more without the church.
            The churchless gospel presents the good news as something that is solely for the redemption of individuals, not for groups of sinners. This becomes a problem when fellowship is left out of the equation. The Bible clearly states that fellowship and discipleship are essential to growth in the Lord. Also, toward the end of the message, the speaker says that after we are saved, we will come together to fix the atrocities of the world. This presents the idea that the church is simply there to help with the “big problems,” but not with our individual and corporate growth.
            These ideas can be countered with looking for opportunities to embody the gospel. Not only should we look to help those suffering around the world, but we also need to look to those in our own community, and especially in the church community. Our job as Christians is to love each other. Although this may be difficult at times, we must remember that Christ loved us even before we were willing to acknowledge him. Because of this, church community is essential to spiritual growth.

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